What expectations, measurements and results do we plan on seeing in 2010? There is a lot of buzz surrounding the way Social Media will shape the business and communication landscape. Addressing these speculations, the panel outlined expectations, measurements and resultswe can hope to see in 2010.
Expectations: "Big companies need to take it seriously."
As explained above, one reason why big companies don't engage in Social Media is because they are scared.
In 2010, the panel unanimously agreed that many more big businesses will realize how valuable of a communication tool Social Media can be. Not only is it challenging, interesting and fun, "but it has the potential to be very lucrative.
Every client wants long-term strategies, and the panel predicts that in order to achieve this, clients will begin investing 5-7 figures into social media campaigns.
Less about what we do, and more about the reason they talk. A good business practice uses social media as means for proliferation, not an improvement to the service/product. It's easy to get carried away, but a successful business model has a truly quality offering, while providing the means with which to share the experience it provides. Social media allows others to talk about how great business-x is.
Measurement: "Social Media should come at the beginning."
Traditional measurement will have to change, as Social Media carries different weight. For instance in the old model, 20 impressions were no big deal. However, now whenever 20 impressions are served through Social Media, they are each an invitation to interact and communicate with one another.
Each social media channel holds different weight. A YouTube video response has different implications than a retweet.
Results: "Social Media should come at the beginning."
Ideally, an increased focus on social media will result in an increase of sales. Howard Greenstein brought up an example of a local barber shop that, through social media, was able to successfully increase its customer base for next to nothing cost.
David Berkowitz explains the 4 major social media necessities for producing results: Goals, Assets, Rules and Volume.
The panel of strong, successful women featured those who, after spending time with traditional and realizing that digital is the future, have found their niche in the digital space. Their entrepreneurial spirits and experience provided insight into the two biggest issues addressed: "Why go social?" and "What is the right way to do it?"
Why: “Bloggers just get it.”
One issue addressed was that of the FCC's new restrictions on bloggers, essentially mandating that they issue full disclosure whenever gifted or paid to create content. The panel agreed that this is completely in line with the informal blogging code: be honest. Bloggers should give full disclosure regardless of the FCC, as they owe it to their readers.
Have fun: Blogging should be a safe, fun space in which like-minded individuals can express themselves.
Whenever a blogger posts about an item, readers can immediately click through and potentially be moved to purchase. This immediate response truly separates traditional from digital, allowing for faster and much more effective ROI.
How: "What is the right way to do it?"
Before starting anything, either business, blog, or any other type of venture, it's important to make sure you talk to others. If you have friends who have done this before, ask them for guidance, or "learn the expensive way."
In order to gain traffic to your blog, try getting your name out there. Try guest-posting on a blog that you like. If readers like your style and content, they'll want to read more.
Take calculated risks, and go exploring in the digital realm. "Buying domain names is like a 21st century landgrab."