Monday, August 9

Challenging Marketers: 65 Percent Say Social Media

Almost two-thirds of advertising and marketing executives say it is somewhat to very challenging to keep up with social media trends. And, according to a recent survey conducted by The Creative Group, about 41 percent of advertising and marketing pros say the easiest way to keep up is offline.

This survey is based on more than 500 telephone interviews with approximately 375 marketing executives and 125 advertising agencies. Marketing executives tended to work for companies with 100 or more employees. Agency executives with more than 20 employees.

What Makes Social Media Challenging For Marketing Pros?

A good portion of the challenge has to do with the constant changes taking place in the space, prompting complete tactical changes within the individual networks. To remain competitive, every social network is constantly updating and adding new features. Some are small. Some are complex. And some take social networks down.

Not all of the changes are tied to platform developers. Some networks suffer from their own success. For example, growing popularity with Twitter has led to increasing challenges caused by over saturation. With a random review of the last 20 tweets on my stream, 18 of them were links to other sites and posts.

One second later, the same. One second later, the same. One second later, a hashtag conversation session claimed half.

This doesn't even consider all the new platforms, networks, sites, forums, and apps emerging daily. But what's worse for marketers is this weird standard to continually drive "demand" on the most popular networks at the moment.

For example, marketers on Twitter have to explain why the company account stays flat for a week or two (never mind they are creating relationships on other forums). When url shorteners are accidently flagged as spam on Facebook, people temporarily panic. If two people stop following a feed or Facebook page, they blame it on the last little bit of content shared.

The Most Common Problem With Social Media Programs Today.

We see it daily. Knee jerk, reactive thinking that keeps marketers chasing the latest tactics, tricks, tips, and changes on whatever the most popular social media program is today. And, somewhere along the way, they've created an erroneous expectation that not only do they have to convince people to visit their sites, but they also have to be the most "popular" on every social network they join.

It's possible, but not probable. Some companies, products, and services are better suited for one network than another. But beyond the obvious, the real mistake is to continually case tactics without considering strategy. Strategy has nothing to do with social networks. It has to do with communication.

If there is any irony in the findings from The Creative Group, it's mostly that marketers and agency pros answered their own question. When they want to learn something about online marketing, they aren't looking online. They're looking offline. But even offline, they aren't looking to learn the right stuff.

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