Should Social Media Be a Priority in a Weak Economy?

As soon as the water recedes from Hurricane Irene, our news will return to the topics we’ve heard for the past 4 years – changes in the world’s governments and global economics. Yes, social media has proven to have had a large impact on governmental overthrows, but what about the weak economy.

Let me hit it right away. Then I’ll get to some back up data. All of interactive marketing (including social) must be implemented in a bad economy. There are times when I have heard “social is not a priority,” and I chalk this up to pure ignorance and trepidation from old school thinking. 99 times out of 100, the “social is not a priority” statement comes from someone that does not understand how social media can be integrated into the business and marketing operations to drive measurable results. I chalk it up to fear of evolution. And if you are fearful of learning something new, you should hand it over to someone who isn’t.

If you are seeing challenges in business, you must connect with your target market deeper than ever or risk that they elect alternatives to doing business with you. Can anyone really say that not connecting with your target market, the individuals that buy your product/service, is not a priority? Let’s put the ROI question aside for a second. (If you can’t, read “Social Media ROI – Don’t Be So Short Sighted – Think Longer Term.”) Who is still questioning whether social media helps to establish increased and deeper relationships? If you truly work to first produce entertaining and/or informative content and then follow up and engage with your target market, you will create greater awareness, interest, consideration, and advocates for your brand. (Contact me directly (stevegoldner (at) optonline (dot) net) – we can discuss how.)

Now for some data … Forrester’s Shar VanBoskirk just released the “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 To 2016 – Spend Will Near $77 Billion as Interactive Gains Legitimacy in the Mix“ report. It states that “ by 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing – as much as they do on television today. Search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, and social media will grow to 35% of all advertising spend within the next five years.” Mobile marketing CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) through 2016 tops the list at 38% with social media in second place at 26%. The drivers for this growth in social media are integrated campaigns on social networks, agency fees for social media, and social media management technology (in order of spend).

The reality is “that enterprises usually adopt technology much more slowly than individual consumers or the overall marketplace” as reported by Dion Hinchcliffe in his stand out article “Social Business Holds Steady Gap Behind Consumer Social Media.” But it is not just a B2C thing. Adoption for B2B is lagging as well.

So if the economy concerns you and your business, turn it up a notch. Do not take the safe charted route. Take calculated risks. Get out of your comfort zone a bit and use new strokes to swim upstream. Learn from the salmons that make it all the way to the top.

Yes, it has been a while since I have preached the importance of social media in favor of giving you implementation recommendations and best practices. But I see way too much complacency. Maybe it is just the effect of summer days. September is just around the corner and the end of summer is in sight. So as I always say, it is time to …

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

14 Comments

Filed under economy, marketing, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve

14 responses to “Should Social Media Be a Priority in a Weak Economy?

  1. Not to mention that all social media is IS ANOTHER AND QUITE EFFECTIVE WAY OF COMMUNICATING. Again it boils down to “Are you a profit center?” I would ask– Wouldn’t you rather be a prophet center (yes, my original phrase) because Social Media allows INSTANT peer-to-peer communication, research, market intelligence. It’s not a budget line item, folks. It’s not just what’s happening, it’s HOW it’s happening.

  2. Steve, absolutely! I also blogged about this using many of the successful companies as an example. They all started during weak economy including my own:

    If You Build It Awesome…They Will Come
    http://wp.me/pJnAS-5lV

  3. Chris Pariseau

    From an ‘old school’ long term sales exec, technology has moved into the required competency column for all organizations. Developing a social media strategy is tantamount to relevency in your respective marketplace. If you are not already reaping the benefits of executing on a concise and well thought out SM directive, your organization is at the tail end of the mainstream adoption curve.

    • Thanks Chris – I think it is even worse than being “at the tail end of the mainstream adoption curve.” It is missing where your customers are going and where they are getting involved. Nothing like shout out the wrong door and nobody being there.

      Best,
      Steve

  4. another good post ! your posts are very informative as well as inspiring
    keep up the good work!

  5. All I can add is why would anyone want to stop talking?

    So many people state they get all work word of mouth, thats the social bit.
    So much technology is available to use effectively, thats the media bit.

    Why then any negativity about using what real people integrate into their lives daily without any fuss or hassle?

    • Mark agree, but some won’t leave their comfort zone.

      • I recently started a discussion on a Linnked In group about comfort zones, some excellent responces came forward the best being that when working alone we often can be helped by a mentor or third party who can constructively criticise rather than friend and family who just pat our backs and congratulate

        We know so many won’t let it happen, I am seeing so many people who left school/universtiy, got a job, maybe changed a job – BUT more than anything don’t want to relearn something/anything. I have never as i am told had a proper job so fdon’t know how they feel🙂

        As is seen daily now, technology needs the user to be flexible especially learning when using as it’s never static.

  6. Flavio Alvarez

    10/15 years ago the conversation was “Should TV advertising be a priority in a weak economy?” And the answer was the same. Those brands and companies that continue to put forth the effort into communicating with their consumers always do better than those that don’t. If anything, social media efforts can be more cost effective and can build more allegiance.

  7. Steve,
    Excellent overview. Thank you for the thoroughness of your research and the facts you so generously provide. It’s imperative that any serious marketer/communicator see how the pieces are converging and enhancing each other. As always – the caveat is – when it’s done right. More and more marketers are figuring out how to do it right. Exciting.

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