Starting Up the Social Media Marketing Prediction Engine
Well, since everybody rolled out the trends of 2009 at the beginning of December, there’s really nothing left to do this year but make predictions for next year, right? Forrester is going to kick us off with predictions for marketing in social media.
Naturally, they see major growth coming in the SMM arena (which they call “social computing,” but I think that’s something different . . . ). In fact, they see 2010 as they year social media marketing reaches maturity, with marketers (and not just SMMs) focusing on measurement and even getting budgets.
The rise of SMM will lead to more transparency and interactivity, Forrester predicts. And that will make SMM even more valuable to companies. Oh, and Twitter will reach profitability—or be acquired.
Of course, all this won’t come without challenges. With much of social media still a highly fractured, siloed space, many marketers will have to prioritize various social networks—will they spend their time focusing on getting Twitter right or really interacting with Facebook fans? Meanwhile, they’ll also have to make sure their social media is ready for the mobile web.
And of course, measurement continues to be a challenge. Says Forrester:
Marketers don’t think they’re very good at measuring social media: On average, they rate their own efforts to measure social initiatives at 4.5 out of 10.3 And there’s no silver bullet — depending on marketers’ objectives and the technologies they’re using, any of dozens of different metrics could be appropriate. But one thing’s for sure: With the need for accountability rising, marketers can’t keep pretending that fans and followers are useful success metrics. In 2010, marketers will finally start to focus on the metrics that match their objectives — and metrics that their CMOs already know and trust.
Forrester also explains how they can do this—just like we measure just about anything else. Set a goal, then figure out what metrics will help you meet that goal and track them. (Forrester notes that a lot of these metrics may be more intangible,” like brand awareness and likeability requiring “brand surveys, sentiment analysis, and Razorfish’s SIM score,” in addition to more traditional hard numbers in sales.)
What do you think? What metrics are most important in your social media marketing? How do you track them?