What percentage of a B2C or B2B brand’s budget should be spent in strategies and tactics that we would label “social media-related?” Within that percentage, how should the money really be applied with the big amorphous box we all call social media? Big questions. Clearly what is right for a Unilever may be very different than what is right for a Siemens. Selling cars (Ford) is dramatically different than mobile phones (LG). Running your business in North America may be very different than China.
All these differences aside. There is a common trajectory of ‘spend’ at least as applied to B2C and separately to B2B. That path has more to do with increased experience in social media tactics, the adoption of, a social media business mindset and the integration path for social media going forward.
Experience in social media tactics – For simplicity’s sake, lets look at what most marketers go through (including this one). Here are three stages of adoption:
- Social Media Experiments – usually the first year or two of unconnected social media programs involving bloggers, video content distribution, cgm/ugc contests and other tactics.
- Adoption and Integration – in the following years, the value or success of social media is felt within and there is a push to do more and integrate it with more people and disciplines.
- Go ‘Big’ – after some experience and success following integration, brands can’t help but want to “go big” either with a substantial facebook campaign or a more impactful integration (e.g. committing to 20 people in social customer care via Twitter and Live chat). Usually these brands have sketched out a measurement model that reassures them the effort is smart business.
Social media business mindset – Is using social media an obligation due to outside pressures (your CEO, board, competitors all told you to do it in one way or another)? Or do you see a way – perhaps murky now – but a way that all of the implied qualities of social media may actually change your business? I see plenty of CMOs and CCOs who fit into both camps. So, the choice is between social media as obligation or social media as quest.
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