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The Verdict Is in: The Future of Marketing Is Social

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We can't deny it. It's everywhere we go, it's everything we see. It's social media and it symbolizes where we are as a society: Interconnected... and it is here to stay.

Social media is a marketers' dream. It allows your audience to watch you -- as a brand -- develop, grow, and evolve. Many of your most loyal fans and followers are engaged in your lives and businesses through social media.

Whether you're an entrepreneur or corporation, social media provides multiple no-cost platforms to connect with your target audience. They follow your companies, your brands, your experiences, through the good times and the bad times. Your audience gets to know you, like you, and build trusting relationships with you.

The most recent facts on social media indicate that not only is social media the latest, greatest phenomenon; but, it is also predicted to remain a part of our lives for decades to come. How do we know this to be true? Let's consider the most recent facts on social media:

  • Fact: Currently, marketers allocate 7.6 percent of their budgets to social media. CMOs expect that number to reach 18.8 percent in the next five years.
  • Fact: Marketers spend an average of 4-6 hours a week on social media.
  • Fact: Seventy-nine percent of marketers have integrated social media into their traditional marketing activities .
  • Fact: Social media is the top driver for relationship building.
  • Fact: Thirty-seven percent of brands would like to use social media engagement to create customer-tailored marketing campaigns.
  • Fact: Thirty-three percent of consumers cite social networks as a way they discover new brands, products or services.
  • Fact: Facebook users spend 6.35 hours each month on the social network via their desktop.
  • Fact: Instagram has more than 150 million active users.
  • Fact: Fifteen percent of Internet users are on Pinterest.
  • Fact: Twenty-five percent of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within one hour. Peer Influence + Bad Reviews = Brand Killer.
  • Fact: Fifty-one percent of the top 20 percent of B2B marketers are generating leads through social media use social sharing tools, compared to the industry average of 39 percent.

The takeaway? If you are not active on social media, you are missing a world of opportunity for engagement and connectivity in your market, both domestically and globally. The key word here is Opportunity. Plain and simple, social media is exposure, exposure, exposure.

If you are currently active and visible on social media, strive to make your brand more relevant than ever before. The key word here is Engagement. Try new platforms and new ways of engaging your audience... they will follow.

Social media is about being social. Have fun with it, be creative, engaging, and connected. Remember, always communicate your message clearly, consistently and constantly.