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?
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing