Social Media Marketing Reaches Inflection Point

Published
  • December 31 2014, 10:50am EST

Social media sites are playing an increasingly important role in marketing and customer relations efforts for many organizations. Here are some news developments in the area of social media during the past year.

Companies are recognizing the value of social media as a marketing and brand management tool, as well as a customer service and support channel, research firm Frost & Sullivan noted in a report in January.

New analysis from the firm’s Analyzing Customers' Social Voices research found that the most important trend in social media analytics is cross-channel integration. Organizations are starting to integrate social media analytics with speech, text and Web analytics to cover all customer touch points.

Disruptive technologies such as social media provide an opportunity to reshape organizations, change business models and transform industries, according to Deloitte’s 5th Annual Tech Trends Report.

Over the years the focus of social business has shifted from measuring volume to monitoring sentiment, Deloitte said. In today's “recommendation economy,” organizations should focus on measuring the perception of their brand and then on changing how people feel, share and evangelize, the report said.

A “wave of consolidation” will occur in the social messaging market, according to a report issued by research firm Ovum in April.

The acquisitions of WhatsApp by Facebook and Viber by Rakuten are signals that social communications, and particularly messaging, are becoming a core part of Over-the-Top (OTT) content services, whether their focused on social networking, online commerce or other purposes, Ovum said.

As more of the mobile subscriber base is able to access data services there will be an even stronger migration toward social messaging services, Ovum said. In its report, Ovum forecast that data and social messaging services will have more than 2.6 billion subscribers by 2015.

The number of full-suite enterprise social media platform subscribers is expected to rise from 208 million in 2013 to 535 million in 2018, according to research from Frost & Sullivan. Currently, there are about 2 billion workers worldwide who could benefit from enterprise social technologies across numerous industries, organizations, locations and job roles, the firm said. The need to improve communication and collaboration in the workplace to increase employee engagement, accelerate decision-making and boost overall productivity is driving the global enterprise social networking market, Frost & Sullivan noted.

Over the next 12 months, the most important business priority companies will focus on with regard to social technologies is promoting the company, products and/or brands, according to a study from International Data Corp. (IDC) released in December.

About one quarter of the 700 U.S. senior executives IDC surveyed earlier in 2014 cited this as the top priority. Generating revenue through direct sales is a top priority for 19% of the respondents, and 14% prioritize communicating to internal business colleagues, according to the report, “Workforce Transformation—Beyond Social Technologies: IDC’s Social Business Survey 2014.”

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