2 tips for getting more from social media

Social media already comprises a large role in many companies’ viral marketing campaigns, mobile marketing strategies and increased engagement efforts, but according to several recent studies, it is expected to rise dramatically over the next five years.

According to IBM’s recently released 2012 Global CEO Study, 57 percent of executives believe that social media will be the most used customer interaction method by 2018, which is a whopping 256 percent rise over the 16 percent of CEOs who believe it already is.

“Social networking has and will continue to significantly change how we do business,” said one respondent. “The way we collaborate with our customers will be transformed.”

With the impending dominance of social media clear, now is a great time to start thinking about how to improve your online marketing strategy by incorporating more social interaction. Here are two tips to help you accomplish this important target.

Optimize for mobile
If anything is rising more quickly than social media use, it is mobile devices. Consumers are increasingly using these items to access social networks and engage with friends, colleagues and brands. Because of this, it is especially important that companies ensure that their websites and brand pages are optimized for mobile devices. Frustratingly difficult-to-use web pages are a sure way to turn away otherwise-interested customers.

This knowledge does not seem to be lost on marketers – 34 percent of them believe mobile optimization is the most exciting trend for 2013, according to a recent survey from Econsultancy. If your brand pages are not designed to be easily read on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, you could be discouraging a large number of consumers from engaging with your company online.

Engage yourself
Engagement is a two-way street. If you are not regularly posting content and responding to your customers, you are liable to quickly lose any benefits you gained from increasing your social media presence. Devote a portion of your time to starting direct conversations with your customers. Ask questions, respond to comments and seek suggestions.

Many executives believe that the work of online marketing is complete when a website is launched, a brand page crafted or an email marketing campaign rolled out. However, this is really just the beginning. After you’ve put in the time to plan your attack and allocated resources to it, it is time to get to work adding the content, links, promotions and sides that truly comprise the initiative.

What are your plans for more effectively utilizing social media? Share some thoughts below!

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Adam Naide

Adam Naide is Executive Director of Marketing for Social Media at Cox Communications, where he leads overall strategy and execution for all of the company’s social media activities including audience engagement, campaigns, demand creation and retention. Every week, over six million consumers and small businesses engage with Cox Communications on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Linked In. Cox Business connects online with small & mid-size businesses from its small business blog, Cox Blue.

In 2012, Adam was named a “Top Ten Social Media Maven” by Multichannel News and to Cable Fax’s Digital Hot List.

You can follow Adam on Twitter at @adamnaide where he tweets about social media, and his other passion, cereal.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Georgia.Naide lives in Alpharetta, Ga., with his wife, Karen, and two teenage children.