Just about all marketers now agree that social media can no longer be ignored. In fact, over the last few months the social media statistics we recently published are already grossly outdated (in that time, Facebook went from 900 million users to now over one billion). Growth like this makes it easy to understand why over 65% of marketers are planning to integrate social media into their marketing mix in 2013. However, for organizations that leverage a distributed marketing and local sales model (e.g., financial services, insurance, franchise, hospitality, healthcare, telecom, etc.) the percentage of marketers planning to integrate social media is a paltry 16% (Gleanster Research).
Tim Storer, President & CEO of Distribion, a leading provider of multi-channel distributed marketing software solutions, recently provided his thoughts as to why there is such a huge disparity in social media adoption by these distributed marketing organizations and what can be done to fix it.
[Tim Storer] The numbers highlighting the growth of social media users is unprecedented. Just about every organization today understands that they need to be incorporating social media into their marketing mix.
However, there are still many organizations that are late adopters of social media and I feel this has to do with four primary factors:
The first is the time commitment that is necessary to effectively utilize and monitor the social media channel.
The second is training – there are still a large number of users that don’t understand how to truly build and engage an audience.
Third is the inability for users to find or produce relevant content worth socializing about.
And the fourth factor has to do with corporate and regulatory compliance concerns that have resulted in companies either limiting or not utilizing social media at all.
Now, take these same challenges and apply them to organizations that leverage quasi-independent agents, brokers, franchisees or partners that the organization doesn’t have direct control over and these challenges become much more significant.
To help organizations overcome these challenges we’ve introduced a new concept called Distributed Social Media Marketing.
Using the Distribion Distributed Marketing Platform, Corporate marketers can now publish pre-approved social media campaigns that consist of numerous content posts with links out to rich media and other supporting collateral.
Once published, employees and marketing partners simply opt-in to a campaign and the specialized software posts the content to the selected sites at the designated time intervals on their behalf, thus automating the entire social media process.
Although campaign posts can be entirely locked down, corporate marketers also can set permissions where posts can be customized, and if necessary, routed through a corporate approval process prior to being published.
Now, what makes Distribion’s platform even more unique is that corporate marketers can take this concept a step further and actual publish multi-channel bundled campaigns that consist of integrated e-mail, direct mail and social media campaigns that can all run simultaneously together.
Leveraging this type of strategy not only helps overcome the challenges I alluded to earlier but also provides the added benefit of centralizing all campaign data allowing the organization to gain better insight and identify trends that can influence future marketing efforts.