Monday, December 03, 2007

Social Media set to go corporate in 2008

CRM Buyer has an interesting article about how many companies are going to set aside monies in its budget for social media in 2008, for the first time. Jeremiah explains that "For the first time, you will start to see budgets set aside for social media strategies and processes," he said.

Another prominent blogger, Deborah Schultz adds:
"I'm actually thinking of calling myself a 'digital anthropologist,' but there's more money in being a 'social media strategist,'" she said. "It's absolutely a good time to be doing this, because how companies need to relate to the customer is completely changing."

So if this comes to pass, it means that a lot of companies are going to be spending a lot of money on social media next year. Good for social media consultants such as myself, because many of these companies will have no idea where to get started.

Here's my best advice for these companies, and it's free: Start monitoring what is already out there about your company. I wrote a couple of months ago how you can launch a blogger-outreach program for free in one day. The point is, you have to understand what the community is saying before you can engage them. And it's not reserved to blogs, you should also know what is being said on Facebook, if there are videos from evangelists (or detractors) on YouTube, etc.

Social media is about facilitating the creation and exchanging of content. The content can be blogs, podcasts, wikis, videos, etc. And for a company, your level of engagement with the people that are creating and distributing this content will determine your social media success.

The conversation continues, with or without you. What is your best advice for a company that wants to start investing money into social media? Where should they start?


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Ivana said...

Hey Mack! You have a marvelous way of tying things together. The cynical me thinks that most of the larger corporations (the "forward" thinking ones) are going to throw money at the issue by starting a budget and hiring some people to make it happen. But the companies that are successful are the ones where the top not only realizes how important this is, but treats this with as much respect as they do any other component of the marketing process.

Am I really too cynical? Maybe not enough coffee yet.

Mack Collier said...

I agree Ivana, I think many companies will simply set aside a budget cause they think that 'everyone else is doing it'. That's why I was saying that companies can save themselves a lot of time and money if they will simply start by getting in the habit of monitoring what their customers are already saying about them. I think it all starts from there.