With the proliferation of social media networks, social media marketing has become important. Companies are allocating bigger budgets and hiring staff to manage their social media marketing efforts. Here are 10 hot social media marketing trends that you may not have heard about.
1. One of many tools: Recent trends indicate that social media marketing is now not being seen as a separate marketing tool or activity. It is being integrated with other forms of marketing such as SEO, e-mail marketing and paid advertising.
2. Integration with corporate websites: Brands have begun large-scale integration of social media content with their digital properties. To get close to customers, big brands now use social media connections and user-generated content. Businesses will manage to get most out of brand advocates by linking their Web properties to their conversations.
3. Social media as a customer support platform: Customers are reporting their problems on their social media networks. And companies have responded by using these platforms to address customer complaints.
4. Social CRM: To identify sentiment trends and individual customer preferences, more companies are adding social data to their customer relationship management (CRM) systems. By doing so, they hope to be able to engage customers and prospects and influence their choices.
5. Social media influence: Thanks to social media integration, customers now can get user opinions before making their final purchase decisions. Based on feedback of existing customers, normally available as ratings, comments and reviews, people are making their purchase decisions.
6. Mobile devices: With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, mobile social commerce is a major trend. With tools like Facebook’s Open Graph, customers are able to directly purchase with Facebook credits based on recommendations by their friends.
7. Social media budgets: Companies interested in marketing through social media are increasing their social media budgets. Increased allocation is made for both in-house spending as well as outsourced services.
8. Social media advertising: Social media channels intend to turn a profit. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are exploring different ways of displaying more marketing messages to their users. This means that marketers can look forward to more avenues for social media advertising.
9. ROI: In addition to making significant investments in social media marketing, in 2012, businesses are focusing on return on investment, or ROI, from their social media marketing efforts.
10. Content: More companies are recognizing the importance of including content marketing in their social media marketing strategy. Companies are distributing high-quality content relevant to their line of business through different social media networks.