Marketing Sherpa had just finished a study on how US brands engage in social media marketing and specifically how strategically they act in these channels. A striking observation in the study was that most companies act on a purely tactical level in social channels. It seems that most marketers forget the basics of marketing strategy when moving into the social media space and just jump in without a plan.
As one dimension of the study, Marketing Sherpa looked at the maturity of the polled companies and classified them according to different development phases. The Trial Phase is the phase where companies just act without any plan or structure. In the Transition Phase companies have a plan and work in a semi-structural way, but lack the frequency in their effort. In the final phase, called Strategic, companies have developed a strategy for their presence and an organization for the execution.
About 73% of the polled companies were in the Trail (33%) or Transition phases (40%). Just under a quarter of the companies in the poll had an elaborate social media strategy.
Another striking thing was the decreasing importance of platform or channel as companies moved from Trail to Strategic. This is quite natural since companies in the strategic phase have found “their” channels and focus more on the execution of the strategy.
Key take away from this webinar - if you have a solid strategy, the advent of new channels and platforms will pose no problem and be quite easy to integrate into your marketing mix. So, before plunging head on into new channels, take some time to think over your strategy and what you would like to accomplish (at least if you want to see some real results from your investments).