This Harvard Business Review article makes some interesting forecasts about the use of social media by business.

"The Special Covid-19 Edition of The CMO Survey found that social media has become critical to marketing during the pandemic. The survey reported that social media spending has increased from 13.3% of marketing budgets in February 2020 to 23.2% in June 2020 — a 74% lift. Meanwhile, spending on traditional advertising is projected to decline, as CMOs estimate a 5.3% reduction in traditional advertising channels in the next 12 months."

In other words, Social media spending will increase, advertising spend will decline.  

But it isn't all about spend, it's about return on that spend, Interesting that companies are seeing a greater and greater return on their social media spend, according to HBR.

"Companies are seeing a historic return on their social media investments, according to the survey. The self-reported contribution of social media to overall company performance has risen sharply, up 24% since February 2020. This is an important finding because, despite steadily rising investments social media, the impact of social media has remained relatively flat since 2016."

HBR go on to say

"CMOs anticipate that social media investments will remain high at 23.4% of marketing budgets into 2021."

But this isn't just a shift of budget from advertising to social media, there is a shift in action. 

"56.2% planning to “transform their go-to-market business models to focus on digital opportunities.”"

How can marketing leaders build upon this growing trend and plan their social media marketing strategies for a post-pandemic future that is equally bright?

What the modern marketing leaders do about the modern buyer

We have seen shifting buyer work as everybody is online, in this October (2020) report by Simon Kemp outlines the extent that social media has become part of our lives.  

Worldwide social media users: 4.14 billion - 53% of the world's population use social media in other words, more people use social media than don't use it.

Simon says that "two thirds of the working population in the world is now active on social media."  This is why marketing need to shift budget from analogue to digital.

Research From All These Companies Back This up

If you are looking for more research to back up your strategy, try these .... 

Mckinsey, Gartner, Hootsuite and We Are Social, Hubspot, Google, MIT, Trustradius and  Twilio .... 

This is also driving Gartner's third point in their recent CSO research for Q4 2020 which is "increased customer expectations of digital learning and buying channels."

The research is overwhelming that buyers are online, sticking plasters will not make this problem go away. It won't and covid 19 pandemic has accelerated this. 

So what can marketing leaders do?

Case Study 1.

Most big tech have implemented employee advocacy, but they have done this in an "old tech" way.  The old way of marketing was that you interrupted somebody and you told them about your company, it's often called broadcast or push marketing.  Big tech treat social media as if its push.  Employees are given corporate content to distribute, which is course, pretty useless in the modern socially empowered world.

In this case study, Danielle Guzman, talks about how Mercer, empower their employees to talk on social.  The ROI (return on investment)?  Danielle explains how Mercer as a brand will develop the business a certain amount of business, because they are well known in certain markets.  She also confirms in this video how empowering people on social and giving them personal brands gives Mercer 4 times more revenue than the brand. 

Case Study 2

This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up, it only took him 10 minutes to create.  We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically.  You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away.  Let's talk about this post. 

 Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 8,000 views and 165 likes?

But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post?  How?

Because, all of Eric's post are strategic.  He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.

He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example.  But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business.  Especially if you scaled this across your business. 

Want to see what Eric posts, it's all here on Linkedin, nothing to hide.

How does Eric do this?  He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage.  Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out.  If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time?  Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?

Another example, is the Microsoft Azure sales team actively use this as part of their sales strategy on accounts.  They find "changemakers" who will take this insight and share within their businesses.  This is how businesses are actively engaging with and influencing business and sales. 

It's Time to Stop Being Analogue and Transform to real Digital Marketing

A CEO Just Said to Me

 "there is a race on.  First we need to shock people into understanding that the world has changed.  Second, we need to give them the skills to work in the changing world."  

He went onto say "By giving my team(s) “new world” skills will gives us a competitive advantage."

Interesting that he finished by saying

"The thing is there is a “burning bridge” and we need to make sure we are over that bridge."  

Where Do We Go From Here?

Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies.  No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform to using social across their business.

Please contact me here or one of the DLA Ignite team here, so please pick one of our industry experts or one of our experts in your geographical locality.  Our website is here.