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Social Media Comes of Age

Social Media Comes of Age: The Vocus 2011 Planning Survey

With February 1st upon us, I’ve had some time to process the craziness that was 2010. We learned from the Large Hadron Collider that the early universe behaved like super hot liquid (cosmic coffee, anyone?), Chilean miners wowed the world by living trapped below the surface for 69 days, and an Icelandic Volcano shut down most of Europe. I’m telling you — that’s only a little bit of the “crazy” that was 2010.

As the world seems to be getting a little more chaotic with each day, I find myself looking towards areas that are concrete to count on in 2011. After reading the Vocus 2011 Planning Survey I absolutely know what we can count on: growing use of and competition for the social media market.

Vocus surveyed 508 professionals from October 26, 2010 to November 21, 2010 to find out how people were planning for 2011.

Here are some brief bullet points:

  • PR will be more challenging in 2011. 60% of respondents said PR will be more challenging in 2011. The dynamics of social media and budgets were among the top reasons why.
  • Budgets expected to improve over 2010. 42% said they expect budgets to “increase somewhat” or “increase significantly” versus 29% that said the same last year. Search professionals and advertisers were the most optimistic about budgets.
  • PR and marketing are playing nicer in the social media sandbox. 23% of respondents said marketing is leading social media efforts while PR is contributing, while 22% of respondents said PR is leading social media efforts with several other departments contributing. These two categories received the highest rankings among six options.
  • High marks for social media maturity on self-evaluation. Organizations overwhelmingly gave themselves high marks for social media maturity, with 67% saying they are participating, sharing and contributing to social conversations.
  • Strategic communications and measurement are among top priorities for 2011. Social media (69%) strategic communications (66%) and measurement (61%) are the top areas where PR will focus its efforts in 2011

Can you believe that 60% of the top marketing and PR professionals around the world are saying that the dynamics of social media is one of their biggest challenges? I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that if the “top dogs” are struggling — you are, too. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a challenge for you.

Why Now?

In business, one of the keys to growth and success is not to be left in your competitor’s dust when it comes to creative marketing strategies. You can see by the statistics posted above and the graph below, that Social Media is no longer simply “interesting” — it’s a necessity to your business. Here is the bottom line: your customers are talking about your brand or products online with or without you. If your competition is the only one engaging them in conversation, then your competition is going to be the one getting the increase in revenue. With over 700,000 people per day joining Facebook it is easy to answer the question of Why now?.
Okay, so where do I start?

You have several options to consider when beginning your own social media strategy. My sincere recommendation is that you hire a professional firm to get you started. This will help you avoid any initial social media pitfalls. No, this is not just a plug for 180fusion’s latest product offering. The truth is that the big dogs are struggling with the dynamics of social media, because it isn’t their sole focus every day. Turning to a set of social media professionals that have an entire team dedicated to keeping up with all of the latest trends and the knowledge to create a powerful social presence with little effort on your part will enable the best ROI and time to market.

If you still aren’t sold on why social media is important, stay tuned for my next blog that addresses that question specifically.

Until then, stay connected to the latest updates from 180fusion by visiting us at:

You can view the full Vocus survey by visiting: You have to complete a registration, but it’s well worth it.

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