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Guest post: Where Does Social Media Fit Into Your Marketing Plans? by Dave Thomas

Social media plansIf your company’s marketing results are leading to a lower return on investment (ROI) than you would like, take the time to see where social media is factoring into those efforts.

When it comes to some marketers, social media has been looked upon in recent times as a fad, something that is here today and gone tomorrow. Much to their surprise, however, social media continues to remain much more than just a catchy term.

According to a number of different studies, social media can and does play a significant role in furthering one’s marketing efforts.

A 2011 survey from Constant Contacts indicates that a large percentage of small businesses nationwide partake in social media when it comes to their advertising efforts.

Some 81 percent of those businesses surveyed indicated they use social media for marketing purposes, with 83 percent stating they use it as part of their marketing strategy due to the fact it is inexpensive. Meantime, 67 percent indicated it is rather simple to use.

In a 2011 mid-year report from iTracks, nearly 90 percent of domestic B2B companies said they were instituting social media marketing as part of their efforts.

Lastly, a study from Social Media Examiner of more than 3,300 marketers noted the following:

  • Ninety percent of marketers claimed that social media is very important for their company;
  • One-third of all social media marketers want the knowledge of how to oversee and measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and integrate their social media activities;
  • Some 58 percent of marketers are utilizing social media for 6 hours or more weekly, and more than a third (34%) invest 11 or more hours on a weekly basis;
  • Only 28 percent of companies are outsourcing some degree of their social media marketing.

If your company’s marketing efforts have been slow to embrace social media up to now, reconsider your plans in 2012.

Among the ways social media can better your marketing efforts are:

  • Promoting online content – Whether you have a company blog, white papers, links to industry trends, etc. social media is a great way to share such information in your marketing plans. By using sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. you can market your brand and all you have to offer. You will also in many cases be seen as an authoritative figure in your respective industry when you tweet, share and more with your information;
  • Promote other in-house assets – You should also be using social media to promote in-house things like email blasts, newsletters, business cards and more. While you don’t want to inundate your audience to the point you are spamming them, you should be using SM to highlight the different offerings you have;
  • A call to action – Given the 24/7 availability of social media, it is a great tool to persistently market your product/s and/or services. This is a great way to reach out to both current and potential customers who are also socially active. Challenge those individuals to follow you on a Facebook fan page or a LinkedIn profile for example with surveys, contests, special promotions and more.

If your small business’ marketing strategy is still debating the importance of social media, consider that it can:

  • Generate more exposure for your company;
  • Add to the traffic numbers and subscribers;
  • Better your search rankings; and
  • Generate qualified leads

In the event your marketing efforts need improvement, becoming more social is a great place to start.

Author bio: Dave Thomas covers small business loans and other items for, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.

Editor’s note: You can read more about planning for online success in 2012 here. And, if you want to write a guest post for Tim Peter Thinks, check out our call for guest bloggers here.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I do B2B marketing and social media is a great place for it because so many other businesses are trolling the social networks looking for clients. Businesses are always looking for other suppliers and they and they usually keep their working hats on so when I approach them they are generally open to offers. My problem with social media is the time it takes to troll and market my business so I now use a company called Magicbuz which does it all for me with great results.

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