Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jeremiah Owyang on Social Media Strategies

Jeremiah Owyang

Yesterday I attended Jeremiah Owyang's web seminar "Social Media Playtime Is Over: How Brands Must Focus In A Recession." Jeremiah has been covering social media and on-line communities for Forrester for the last year and he offers a unique perspective on the state of the art best practices. In his position as a researcher he gets a first hand view of both corporate practices and vendor product strategies.

Here are some important insights from the seminar.
  • The opportunity to use social media despite the recession is NOW. While the media maybe over hyping services like Twitter (Oprah and CNN vs Ashton Kutcher) with 3/4 of the US based on-line adults using social technologies this is a trend not a fad. We can expect adoption to increase during the recession as more people are between jobs and tapping into free social networking services to create and enhance personal brand.
  • The companies surveyed are increasing their spending on social media programs but as a percentage of their overall marketing spend it remains small as most programs are not strategic.
  • Most corporate use of social media is experimental with no clearly defined best practices and with many efforts underfunded and sporadic. Over 60% of the companies surveyed have budgets under $50,000 that are not dedicated but come from previously allocated marketing and advertising budgets.
  • Jeremiah then offered 7 tactics that can fuel experimentation. These included:
    1. Socialize content - Make your existing connect available to be republished
    2. Word of mouth with Twitter - Establish Twitter accounts as communication channels
    3. Aggregate existing content - Provide a unified view on syndicated content relevant to your audience
    4. Crowdsource your support - Empower your users to provide answers and content for your community
    5. Sponsor bloggers - Give your customers a forum to talk about your brand and products
    6. Sponsor events - Not only provide venue and cover expense but actively participate
    7. Let go with APIs - Provide APIs into your service to allow others to build Internet properties using it in unique ways.
Bottom line is that we must treat social media as a long term strategy with the appropriate metrics and measurable returns and staff it with resources dedicated to its success that include a constant improvement feedback loop as best practices evolve.

No comments: