Written by Jay Henderson
It seems like every article I read these days is talking about how great, important, and transformational social media is. According to Forrester Research, more than three-quarters of the U.S. is participating in social media in some way. This includes everything from passive activities like reading a blog to more proactive things like writing blogs or posting ratings and reviews.
Despite how pervasive these tools have become, many companies still struggle with how (or if) to incorporate social media as part of their overall marketing strategy. Most marketers are good about reserving discretionary budget to try new things like social media, but there is still a disconnect between funding social media with discretionary funds and strategically nurturing it as a new channel. Your company’s social media efforts need to switch from ad hoc and one-off to a deliberate and structured process that can assess, experiment, and evaluate these new channels.
Luckily, initial forays into social media don’t require a big up-front investment; there are several simple and free things that you can do. These simple first steps can help you decide how best to use social media and to determine if it can have some big payoff, be it an early warning for potential problems, a new idea for product innovation, greater access to consumer insight, or enhanced customer engagement and loyalty.
Director of Product Marketing
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