Contribution by Mark Stebbins, Stebbins Media
Social media is the fastest-growing marketing channel in the world. Spendig on social media marketing in the U.S. will grow annually at a 34% compound rate through 2014, according to independent research firm, Forrester Research, Inc. By then, social media marketing will amount to a $3.1 billion industry, surpassing email marketing in terms of spending, Forrester said in a 2009 report.
• 67% of Twitter users who become followers of a brand are more likely to buy that brand’s products
• 60% of Facebook users who become a fan of a brand are more likely to recommend that brand to a friend
• 74% of consumers are influenced on buying decisions by fellow socializers after soliciting input via social media
From the Fortune 100 to small and medium businesses, marketers have industriously built out a social media presence in just a few years. The hyperactive growth of such companies as Facebook and Twitter has prompted many organizations to plant their flags on the social media landscape, without much planning as to how their marketing investments can be measured and effectively optimized. In fact, marketers cannot afford to wait to riddle out the details. Competitors are diving into social media, and evidence suggests strong payback for companies whose products enjoy positive reviews from social media users. Marketers that can persuade prospects and customers to join a company’s Facebook fan page also stand to gain.