If you want an effective way to reach your consumer base and, more importantly, expand the area of that base, there's no way around it: you need to step up your social media vocab and make that an integral part of your marketing strategy. And yet, somehow, less than half of marketers have fully integrated social media as part of their brand's plan of attack.
Mashable points to a new study from Forrester Research that shows only 49% of marketers from 99 CMOs and marketing VPs have embraced the social media strategy.
At this point in the game, many would argue that social media engagement shouldn't even be something that anybody has to consider anymore; you just do it the same way you put a sign out front on your store or a logo on your letterhead. There are few ways to get that kind of consumer engagement as well as attract the right types of people who you'll likely retain as repeat or regular visitors. Some of the most engaged brands on social media have found almost a mystifying way to maintain the attention of fans of those brands, even if those people aren't buying the product.
It's cheap, it's easy, and yet over half of marketers aren't doing it. 92% of the participants in the Forrester study even admitted that social media has "fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands." Forrester principal analyst Tracy Stokes chalks it up to marketers just now figuring out where social media fits into the greater marketing puzzle.
That's great and all that people are starting to really figure out how to use social media in their marketing campaigns, but... hopefully, the next time Forrester does this story, a lot more than half of the respondents won't be so sheepish about jumping into the social media pool of marketing. Facebook's launched its Page Insights tool for brands to test and see how people are engaging their page and I wouldn't be surprised if Google+ didn't roll out some kind of Analytics feature sometime in the near future to encourage more brands to use the site.
At any rate, if you haven't embraced social media as a way to get your brand out there, what's the biggest thing keeping you from integrating it into your marketing campaigns?