In a recent report which shows how social media marketing projects are expected to surpass both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing), keep in mind as to "why?"
DoNanza, the largest search engine for work-from-home and freelance jobs, released today its quarterly State of the Work-From-Home and Freelancing Economy, looking at the fourth quarter 2010 and online freelance marketing project numbers for all of 2010.
"Social media marketing is on track to surpass classic search engine marketing (SEO and SEM), reflecting social media's huge impact"
The DoNanza report is a reflection of projects done by freelancers.
If there are more projects being paid for in regards to social media marketing, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know which social media platform holds the most interest.
There is a hype around the Facebook platform and many hear "like me" on a daily basis on Facebook. This has an entrepreneur scrambling to keep up with the Jones's.
There is a surge of opportunistic programmers who hope for the gold ring as they build new apps to integrate with Facebook and, of course, the new "fan pages" which are now "liked".
This is partially fueled by the changes Facebook makes to its platform as the evolution continues. Every change means more work for freelancers as they "catch up" and call it an "upgrade".
Even with the constant changes, those who have support from their budget and their team will stay on the cutting edge and participate.
As an example, Guy Kawaski is using a fun and interesting Facebook page to challenge you to an aptitude test. Feel free to click and take the "How Great Are You?" test. Warning...the average score was less than 11. That will mean you need to read his book!
Liran Kotzer is the CEO of DoNanza -
"This shift towards Social Marketing indicates that businesses believe that the potential value of social marketing is higher than any other online marketing channel", said Liran Kotzer, CEO of DoNanza. "I believe there are many reasons for this: first, the huge number of people spending their time on social environments such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and the fact that social networks are here to stay and people are learning how to use them for business.
In addition, many social media campaigns are more visible and easier to measure and understand than some of the methods used for in search engine marketing. However, Search engine marketing is definitely not decreasing, quite the contrary. In 2010, it is still the largest in terms of projects available on DoNanza."
In other words, there are business owners who believe that social media tools might be a "new direct marketing" tool. I remember the days when no mail came and you would be excited to see an envelope. We know how that story ended!
The report from DoNanza doesn't stop there. The DoNanza report also shows the top 50 most requested skills for Q4 in 2010.
This will be helpful when going into a negotiation. Shown here are only the top few. Click the graphic to see a more complete view of the report.
If you are a contrarian (which I am), you will be of the belief that there is too much hype and the real value of Facebook is yet to be determined. When EVERYONE says to do something, chances are you will have little chance of being unique. You will test very small social media marketing campaigns and find them wanting. You will spend hours "chatting" about nothing in particular to get "liked" and may find your pockets are still empty.
Social media marketing seems easier and there is a nervousness about the old ways. The traditional methods have been losing effectiveness which has businesses trying to meet quotas with something new and shiny. (Social Media)
There is truth in the fact that consumers are changing how they search and where they spend their time. Here is a recent graph from Forrester Research which shows that consumer's search behavior has changed.
As you see, the print and TV responses are shrinking. What new trend is happening?
Social networking sites were non-existent on the graph in 2004 and are now at 16%. What might be an eye catcher is the number of people who linked via a news article.
As a guerrilla marketer, putting too much faith and trust into one marketing method creates risk. Instead, a combination of several marketing tactics which create a synergy is the best choice.
Inbound marketing includes social media marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization. To limit a marketing plan to primarily social media marketing and not keep a balanced plan may leave an entrepreneur hung out to dry when the new gadgets shift again. Sadly, the entrepreneur who is short on time to research may decide to put time and energy into the new medium because others are. (Which is the wrong reason.)
The future ... what will change social media:
Just wait until everyone has TV on their mobile devices. Mobile video will take us back to where we were (Boob Toob) but instead of couch potatoes, there will be "head hangers" as video watchers will always be hanging their heads.