Social media is still a young industry, says Jeremy Waite, Adobe’s head of social strategy for EMEA.
He’s right. A few years ago many of us were only dabbling with MySpace, Twitter and Facebook. Now we have even more social platforms to choose from like Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Foursquare. There are even regional platforms like VKontakte in Eastern Europe or Weibo in Asia. We’re dedicating more of our marketing budgets towards “engaging” on these platforms, and hiring people or agencies with job descriptions that didn’t exist two years ago.
But what do you actually want to achieve from social media?
Different areas of your business want likes or engagement or a customer service platform, but until social has a central place in your business it’s not likely to succeed long-term.
How much are you spending on social? 3–5% is fairly average, but according to Waite, the best brands spend 12–25% of their marketing budgets on social media.
Waite has developed a simple model to help digital marketers develop a 360-degree approach. The “Like-Cycle” from Adobe is based on real experience with the biggest brands such as Amazon, Burberry and Nike, and helps digital marketers tackle the top 5 challenges most businesses face in social media:
The Like-Cycle applies to more than just Facebook – as digital marketers we should be trying to build a people-focused strategy not a social network-focused strategy. After all, we’re there for the people not the platforms.
The scary statistics are out there, but with a strong strategy based on an understanding of data and intelligence your social media program could beat the odds.