One of the realities of business in the current culture is that customers have expressed a preference for companies with whom they can interact, who value them as customers, and with whom they can share a sense of community through social networking. There are also great benefits for businesses, which now can get relevant feedback directly from customers and prospects.
Businesses are using social media to engage their customers more completely, and to maximize marketing, through discussion, special coupon codes or discounts for followers, and other strategies. Consumers are accessing the Internet by mobile phone and tablet more than ever before and the numbers are rapidly increasing.
Let’s look at 4, on-the-rise, Marketing trends of social media and mobile marketing that your business should incorporate into its plans for 2012:
#1 – The Growth of Social Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will continue to grow exponentially. CRM is rooted in the principle that, rather than making profits, the focus of a company is on fulfilling customer needs, which leads organically to profits. There will also be new tools introduced that support marketing automation.
The use of email and newsletters won’t ever go away completely, but it is increasingly being supplanted by the use of social media. Every business must have a presence on the main social networking sites in order to continue to compete effectively.
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We are seeing that businesses are embracing social commerce with innovative campaigns. Many brands are integrating brick-and-mortar stores and online stores into the consumer shopping experience to leverage the ‘social consumer’ who shops armed with social intelligence.
Infographic from Get Satisfaction on the evolution of the social consumer.
#2 – Social Media Content Impacts SEO Rankings
Social media will also continue to grow as a source of search engine ranking, as the primary search engines are redoing their algorithms to include information from social media sites for indexing and ranking. That means that SEO optimization, too, now means having a social networking presence.
This video shares some ways Social Media contributes to SEO rankings:
#3 – Mobile Leads the Way
Along with the explosion in social media use over the past few years, mobile computing has steadily been gaining ground. In 2012, this trend will continue.In fact, by 2014, it is projected that more people will access the web by mobile than do using a laptop or desktop computer. Mobile includes not only smart phones and web-enabled cell phones, but also tablet computers.
Every business needs to have a mobile strategy and website that is optimized for mobile use. 2012 is the year to do so or be left behind.
You Can Maximize Sales and Lead Capture
With mobile commerce leading the way, businesses must be testing marketing campaigns to capture sales and leads from mobile users.Smart Phone AppsText Messaging QR codesAs a marketer, you want to be developing inbound mobile strategies to take advantage of current opportunities in mobile. You will need to plan time for benchmarking and to test, test, test….and then retest.
#4– Daily Deals May Soon Influence SEO Rankings
The incorporation of special deals into search engine algorithms is likely to occur sometime within the next two years. These are the popular “daily deal” websites which offer their visitors a discounted rate on a product or service for one day only, or when a certain number of purchasers are reached.
With the proliferation of these sites, like Groupon, and large online retailers beginning to offer daily deals as well, what remains to be seen is if Google will adjust its algorithm to account for Google Offers based on localized queries, like they already do with Maps and Places (i.e. if Daily Deals will be the next big element that search engines start to gather). Google offers a much larger platform for daily deals and a business model that accounts for the mistakes made by its’ daily deals predecessors.
Just about every business can come up with something to offer as a daily deal, and it’s another way to draw customers and earn their loyalty. Google Offers may be able to take the concepts of integration, digital, and daily deals and implement them in a natural and unimposing way that is beneficial to the consumer and the merchant.
If they do adjust their algorithms to account for daily deals, it might just provide a more stock in their relevancy, and would certainly be another reason for businesses to optimize vertically.
How will your business meet the opportunities to incorporate CRM, Social Media Optimization, Mobile and Daily Deals?