Study Shows Social Media Marketing is Popular But Funds Not Allocated

Coremetrics

Coremetrics has revealed the results of their second annual Face of the New Marketer survey. The results show that social media marketing is quickly gaining popularity as a way to gain a competitive edge. However, companies appear to be very reluctant to allocate funds towards the effort.

Coremetrics surveyed 116 senior marketing professionals during the third quarter of 2007. They asked these marketers which social marketing tools and activities they were using or intended to use, and how much of their time and budget is spent on social media as opposed to traditional marketing activities.

The study’s results show that the use of Web 2.0 or social media marketing tools, defined as “user generated content (including reviews), RSS feeds, podcasts and wikis” are becoming “more important parts of a complete online marketing program.” However, while most of the respondents recognize this trend and are eager to participate, very few have the budget allocated to perform those marketing activities.

More specifically, Coremetrics said that the findings included the following:

“A clear disconnect between the desirability of social marketing and the budget allocated to it:

– 78% of respondents see social media marketing as a way to gain competitive edge, but only 7.75% of total online marketing spend is devoted to it.
– This compares with an average of 33% of spend going to online advertising and 28% to online promotion design and implementation

However, progress is being made in the field:
– 58% of respondents have implemented user generated content or reviews in the past year
– 31% of respondents have implemented a blog in the past year
– 25% of respondents have implemented an RSS feed in the past year

The study results showed that most marketing folks have plans to implement a social media marketing program, even if it’s not within the next twelve months. Of those marketers, the majority of them recognize the need to implement or improve their social marketing programs. Apparently there’s a lack of tools and expertise–this was apparently their biggest challenges.
– 50% of respondents plan to implement user generated content or reviews
– 22% of respondents plan to implement a blog
– 20% intend to implement social networks, and another 20% plan to implement an RSS feed

Other notable findings included the fact that it’s not just social marketing activity objectives that are misaligned with time and budget allocation:
– Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was ranked as the number one priority over nine other choices, including email campaigns and online analytics, but ranked only fourth in terms of both time and budget allocation
– Email campaigns continue to demand most of a marketer’s time (22% on average), while the biggest portion of budgets (33% on average) go to online advertising. This is despite the fact that SEO was consistently ranked as the #1 priority
– Online promotion design and implementation was ranked as relatively unimportant, (#5 of 9) but comes in third in terms of both time and budget allocation, ahead of SEO, online campaign analytics and email marketing programs, among others

One of the reasons why funds might not be allocated for social media marketing campaigns is the fact that social media marketing is new–and many might not be convinced that social media marketing will bring any ROI. While search engine optimization is important, the SEOs and online marketers that “get it” now are focusing more of their attention on social media as a pre-cursor to SEO.

There may be great content on the web site but if no one knows that it’s there then how are they going to link to it? Links bring better search engine rankings. Social media marketing enhances search engine optimization.

StumbleUpon Launches SearchReviews

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon has launched SearchReviews, a new feature that allows you to discover interesting content anywhere you search. This brings the power of StumbleUpon’s unique recommendation and personalization engine and active social community to traditional search results.

StumbleUpon SearchReviews

The SearchReviews service layers peer-endorsement, site ratings, and reviews next to the search results. If you’re a StumbleUpon user like me, you can enhance and personalize your entire search experience to see which search results your friends recommend.

What’s very cool about the SearchReviews service is that you see star ratings next to sites, along with icons indicating which of your friends have given the sites a “thumbs up” rating. This info “personalizes the search results” without making you change your search behavior.

SearchReviews is available to all StumbleUpon users as you use different web properties, including Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask. Also, you can find SearchReviews on GoogleNews, Yahoo! News, Flickr, Wikipedia and YouTube.

SearchReviews is available on both Firefox and Internet Explorer beginning today, October 23. For more information about SearchReviews, check out the StumbleUpon blog located here.

At first, when I went to check out the new feature, I found that it wasn’t working for me. I had to go install the latest version of the Firefox add-on first. Then, after going to Google, it still didn’t work. So, I went to the settings option on the StumbleUpon toolbar and then had to literally “turn it on”. So, you might want to do this in order to get it working properly. Here’s a screen capture of the settings:

StumbleUpon Settings

Once you have the settings configured properly, you can then go to Google and do a search–you will see which sites have already be Stumbled by your friends. What’s interesting, though, you can actually do a search and see which sites are NOT Stumbled yet by others, allowing you to recommend even more sites to friends.

Here is what it looks like when you do a search for my name along with the StumbleUpon SearchReviews option turned on:

StumbleUpon Search Results

If you’ll look closely, you’ll see that there’s a few graphics right next to the search result.

StumbleUpon has over 3.7 million users and there’s about 7.5 million stumbles per day and about 12 million of the best websites on the Internet — all submitted and rated by StumbleUpon’s users.

Claim Your StumbleUpon Blog through Technorati

Technorati     StumbleUpon

Here’s an interesting tip that you probably haven’t thought of yet. In fact, this will increase the number of links to your StumbleUpon blog, and will automatically increase the “link juice” to every page that you add, review, or “Stumble” using the StumbleUpon service.

First, you need to make sure that you have an account at Technorati. You’ll also want to make sure that you have an account at StumbleUpon.

Next, go here to start your claim. Enter your StumbleUpon home page, which will be something like bhartzer.stumbleupon.com.

Once you enter the blog URL, you’ll get a confirmation screen. It will look like this:

technorati claim

Next, click on Use Post Claim » link on the left, the part in green. That will get you to another screen that looks like this:

technorati claim part two

Now here’s the tricky part: Don’t close this screen.

Instead, open a new tab in your browser or a new window and go to your StumbleUpon profile (mine is bhartzer.stumbleupon.com. Edit a recent review or click on the “post new blog” link. Copy the code that Technorati gave you (the a href link code) and paste into a new blog post at StumbleUpon.

Next, go back to Technorati and click on “release the spiders”. Once the Technorati spiders have confirmed that you’ve added the code to your StumbleUpon blog, then you an re-edit the review to remove the Technorati claim code or delete the blog post.

That’s it! You’ve now claimed your StumbleUpon blog with Technorati.

Blog Philadelphia Unconference Taking Place in July

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Philly blog uwishunu.com is “Calling All Bloggers, Podcasters, Vloggers and Social Media Gurus to Blog Philadelphia”. The The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Philly blog uwishunu.com are having a social media “unconference” in July.

This inaugural BlogPhiladelphia, an “unconference” for those interested in all forms of social media, taking place from July 12-13 at the Radisson Plaza Warwick Hotel in Center City Philadelphia.

GPTMC is the first tourism office to host a social media “unconference” in a continuing effort to engage new audiences and make Philadelphia the most connected destination available to residents and visitors. GPTMC consistently provides visitors with a full toolbox of social media technology: free podcast tours (SoundAboutPhilly.com), a citizen journalist blog with social bookmarking links (uwishunu.com), a Web-TV series (Cheap Dates), a social networking Web page (myspace.com/uwishunu), interactive Google maps with text technology (gophila.com/byobmap) and other user-friendly tech tools such as RSS feeds and customizable itineraries on gophila.com.

Although there will be a few panels featuring leading tech pioneers spanning a wide spectrum of technology platforms, BlogPhiladelphia will follow the “unconference” format established in other social media conferences, such as BlogOrlando and BarCamp. The majority of the “unconference” will feature break-out sessions covering specific social media interests or challenges with an open grid on the schedule where attendees choose the sessions they either want to present at or attend. Panelists and session leaders already on board include:

— Josh Hallet, founder, BlogOrlando, hyku.com/blog
— David Parmet, public relations expert, parmet.net/pr
— Joey Sweeney, CEO, Philebrity Brands, (philebrity.com and philebrity.tv)
— Alex Hillman, Web developer and founder, independentshall.org
— Maura Johnston, associate editor, idolator.com
— Howard Greenstein, Social Media Consultant and co-founder Social Media Club, www.howardgreenstein.com
— Dave Coustan, Blog Master at EarthLink, blogs.earthlink.net
— Alicia Dorset, blog editor, fastlane.gmblogs.com

In addition to the information-packed sessions, attendees will get a taste of Philly’s thriving dining and nightlife scenes.

Buzz for the event is already building: In just 24 hours, GPTMC added 77 friends to its BlogPhiladelphia group on Twitter, a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” (text-based posts) via short message service (SMS), instant messaging or the Web. The site’s homepage features BlogPhiladelphia’s group as one of the 10 recommended Twitter groups.

To make this informational conference as accessible as possible for bloggers and non-bloggers alike, there will be no fee to attend. Participants are only required to cover travel and accommodations. For information on registration; details on sessions, panels, panelists and attendees; links to recommended hotel packages and Amtrak discounts; and details on Philadelphia attractions, check out www.BlogPhiladelphia.net.

uwishunu(TM), created by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and funded by the City of Philadelphia, reveals the unconventional side of Philadelphia by providing an insider’s look at the city’s dining, drinking, nightlife, active pursuits and culture as shared by Philly-wise locals. For cool things to do in Philly from the people who really live there, check out uwishunu.com. [Read more...]

130 Social Bookmarking Sites for Search Engine Marketers

It seems as though one of the “hottest topics” nowadays in the Search Engine Marketing industry is social bookmarking. All the search engine marketers are talking about it now, and if you’re a search engine marketer–or just a marketer in general–or want to get more hits on your website, then you need to pay attention to social bookmarking, too.

First, you need to create some link bait. If you’re not familiar with the term “link bait”, then you might want to read that article I wrote a while back–talks about how you can use link bait to “catch better rankings”.

Anyhow, once you’ve done some linkbaiting and put the content on your own site, then you will need to do some social networking and social bookmarking. Social bookmarking is a way for you to save your favorite bookmarks–and pass them on to others. The more people in who bookmark a particular URL in a certain period of time, the more “popular” that bookmark becomes–and the more people who will visit that URL.

Here’s 130 social bookmarking web sites that I’ve carefully selected (hand picked) to be among the best sites to accomodate your own linkbaiting…for search engine marketing purposes, of course! These sites are listed in alphabetical order.

URL
www.2centsnews.com
www.30daytags.com
www.aworldofhelp.com
www.a1-webmarks.com
adopt.com
www.allmyfavorites.net
ambedo.com
www.backflip.com
www.bibsonomy.org
www.blauerbote.com
www.blinkbits.com
www.blinklist.com
www.blogmarks.net
www.blogmemes.net
bluedot.us
bmaccess.net
www.bookmarktracker.com
www.browsr.com
buddymarks.com
www.bumpzee.com
www.chipmark.com
www.citeulike.org
www.clipclip.org
cloudytags.com
complore.com
www.connectedy.com
www.connotea.org
www.corank.com
www.dealigg.com
www.dealoid.com
del.icio.us
de.lirio.us
digg.com [Read more...]