Plant Your Social Media Focus

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Social Media: Where first?
With literally hundreds of social media sites to explore and exploit today, and more being introduced all the time, how does an online media manager or business owner decide where to focus?  If you are a late comer to the social media scene and are recently convinced you can no longer let it soar by without your brand, this post might provide some direction. (or further confusion, I hope the former.)

Let the Numbers Do the Talking
It is difficult to conclude for most of our clients that “social media just doesn’t fit their demographic” or “isn’t worth the time quite yet.”  Here is why:

If you plan by the numbers like we do, your customers include internet users and you see the value of online marketing—social media should be in your plan. To over ride the “this is all new to me, I am busy can you cut to the chase factor” plant your focus on the most frequented social media sites that include your demographic. Here is the list of the most frequented to get your started:

SM Stats - Source Compete

Carolyn McCarthy does a fine commentary after speaking with Compete about how these numbers were arrived at – her notes indicate that because these are U.S. only numbers that Twitter is likely even larger then what is reflected. As Twitter makes choices to commercialize their offerings (did you read Twitter’s plans to charge corporations) it will be interesting to see their reach trend. For now, they are hot, growing and certainly difficult to ignore.

So where from here?
The recommendation we have is to still build a Social Media plan based on a business and marketing objective i.e. increased exposure in X market, within X demographic over X time period to yield X results. With the reach of FB and Twitter, it would be surprising if your demographic can not be found there – and getting started on both of these sites is neither terribly time consuming nor difficult. Like any media it needs a strategy, execution and measurement. The cost now, is time and money – the cost later is lost exposure and late arriving to a powerful new media type that is swallowing up millions of traditional media dollars (online video alone 26% growth in 2008). Can you afford to watch from the sidelines much longer?

Your Media Plan Reflects Your Social Media Decision
Did blogging, online video and twitter sales strategy make your online media plan this quarter?
Some see social media as repetitive bantering, some see it as the most crucial time and money you can spend in a recession. Replacing email, I doubt it but worthy of attention, I would say, yes. You made your decision with your media plan, what is next quarter’s decision?

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