News & Blog

What’s the next big thing in social media marketing?

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The dawn of a new year also heralds the dawn of thousands of social media experts trying to outdo each other with their hit predictions on what the next big thing is for social media marketing.
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It’s one month in and already we’ve heard and seen a number of opinions, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. On the side of sublime – check out Quora, a social Q&A site which allows users to post and answer questions about nearly anything. It’s already gaining traction, in particular with journalists and tech enthusiasts – both vocal and influential groups within the digital space.
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Group buying in the Middle East, via sites such as GoNabit! and Cobone are beginning to go great guns, destroying the old prejudice that “ecommerce does not work in the Middle East.”
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There’s also Qwiki, which is an entirely new way of presenting searched-for information, turning search into a potentially impactful experience.
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Leaning more towards the ridiculous – more and more buzzwords and “social media gurus” are on the scene. Brands beware – there are snake oil salespeople out there confusing everyone and each other by concocting acronym and buzzword campaigns, in order to claim some kind of social authority. It’s entirely counterproductive.
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Here’s our tip for what we see as the next big thing in social media marketing: organisations will become more educated and finally realise that social media engagement is not about a campaign, it’s about a dedicated, ongoing digital communications programme; it’s becoming the price of entry to doing business in the modern world.
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It means auditing and monitoring your online presence, dedicating resources to observe and engage with the conversation in a respectful and conversational tone, whilst measuring the impact on your organisation or brand’s reputation.
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Organisations will look to spend their money more effectively by evaluating the right social media outlets to engage with, premised on where their audience is and where the organisation’s being spoken about; and that it’s not about spending money on the latest and greatest new social media network, simply because it exists.
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Lastly, we believe we’ll also see a marked clampdown on social media brand activities which contravene the terms of the sites they operate in.  We’re seeing some worrying instances of brands buying fans and creating fake fans on Facebook, for example. In doing so they are risking their ability to continue on Facebook; pages will be shut down.  This really beggars belief – it’s about the quality and relevance of an audience – not the sheer number of fans. So please stay abreast of the guidelines across all your social media channels – the Facebook guidelines were updated as recently as December 2010.
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Wishing you all a successful and engaging new year!
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