What does 2012 hold? As Google, Bing and Yahoo! come to grips with the avalanche of social media content, look for a convergence of social media and search marketing in 2012. While empty headed missives and navel gazing observations still fill the social media universe, identifying and extracting the useful while discarding the white noise will continue to be a challenge.
As many have discovered over the last several years with the search engine optimization benefits of corporate blogs, bulletin boards and forums, the extraction of useful consumer and customer information, market intelligence and search benefits is possible. Now, it is possible, to not only appeal to groups and niches with common political, social, economic recreational, spiritual "and almost any other type" of interests, but to also localize results. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn have combined the best of social media with identifiable vertical niches and local search. This means businesses are now able to control marketing budgets and performance in remarkably concise and exacting ways.
For example, an independent life insurance agent offering a selection of life products from a number of insurance companies is able to market a specific insurance product to new parents and newly married couples in a specific income category, in a clearly defined geographic region during specific times of the day over s asset duration of time.
Helping manage advertising leads and campaign performance are a number of Client Resource Management applications that will automate leads aggregation and allow businesses to explore and respond to new opportunities that are arriving via social media. Early adopters will learn how to reach out to and engage with new prospects and customers who will be arriving through online search, social media and other methods, and funnelled into the sales and customer management system. While there are many online and client-side CRMs currently available, experience a great leap forward in 2012 as social media, email marketing, paid search marketing, organic search generated leads and other â€œlooseâ€ ends are neatly tied together in an automated CRM.
The amount of social media will increase in 2012. Successful businesses will determine the best way to integrated online, paid and organic search with social marketing campaigns and then filter the resulting data into useful information and then act on the new sales opportunities.