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WWJ Social Media Event: Biz Must Stay Flexible, Relevant Online

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LIVONIA (WWJ) – Social media are now a mandatory part of the marketing mix for businesses of all sizes — but it only works if you’re adaptable and relevant.

That was the message of a WWJ Newsradio 950 business breakfast Thursday morning at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, ‘Social Media: Getting Your Business To Wow.’

The presentation from Paul Chambers, co-founder and CEO of Core3 Solutions, and Nicole Meloche, president of Organik Consulting, identified four top digital marketing trends:

* Mobile marketing. By 2015, more people in the United States will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or wireline devices. Among marketers, 42.8 percent of marketers plan to increase mobile marketing spending in 2013. Mobile marketing spending will grow to $24.5 billion by 2016, up from $9.6 billion in 2012.

* Social media. The average business-to-business company is currently using five social media channels, while the average business-to-consumer company is using four. Eighty-seven percent of marketers are using social media to distribute content these days; the most popular site, used by 83 percent of marketers, is LinkedIn. And Chambers and Meloche said Google Plus is far from the failure it’s portrayed as in many media. It’s a platform marketers have to take seriously because Google is the largest search engine, and bases its rankings in part on mentions in Google Plus. Chambers called social media “the black hole of time” — that’s why it’s effective, it’s addictive, you keep following links and before you know it it’s hours later.

* Content marketing. Currently, 91 percent of business-to-business marketers use it, while 86 percent of business-to-consumer marketers do. For fully 78 percent of marketers, the content marketing vehicle of choice is e-mail newsletters. “E-mail’s not dead,” Chambers said. “People say it’s dead, but used effectively, it’s still very much alive.” Also, 71 percent of business-to-business marketers use case studies (only 38 percent of business-to-consumer marketers do) and 61 percent of B2B marketers use white papers online (only 28 percent of B2C marketers do.

* Author rank. Both Chambers and Meloche touted a site called Klout.com that allows users to measure their influence across social media platforms. They reiterated the importance of using Google Plus consistently.

As for flexibility, Meloche said, “remember that Facebook had no idea that mobile marketing would be its biggest profit center.”

Examples of effective digital marketing were also given, with Meloche praising a site called trampolines.com that cut her time in assembling a trampoline from six hours on the first attempt to two and a half on the second, and Chambers telling an engaging story about how his social networks helped him track down the person who stole his laptop.

And in terms of video, they said, reality video is much preferred over the studio-produced variety.

Meloche reminded those attending that whatever’s posted can always be tweaked if it’s not producing the results sought — content and subject lines can be changed, music can be added. “There are endless options,” Chambers said.

And Chambers said the next medium about to be blown up by technology is television. New cable boxes and game decks are coming out that “will really change TV,” he said.

Both speakers — and event moderator Roberta Jasina, WWJ Newsradio 950 morning anchor — recommended Mashable.com as a good Web site for keeping up with what’s new and what’s hot in social media.

And they said the most important thing about business use of social media is to get in there and start communicating.

“Try 10 dollars and see what it does,” Chamber said.

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