When it comes to social networks and social media channels in general, a lot of social media champions are using words like “enagagement” and “influence” to describe best practices. While these are certainly areas that a brand should aspire to become better at, I think businesses outside of the Fortune 100 need to start looking at the low hanging fruit: advertising. A recent eMarketer report expects global spending on social networks to grow to $4.3 billion by 2011… and this is only on social networks.
With that level of investment for social network advertising alone, brands need to also start thinking about areas outside of Facebook and MySpace in which they can buy ad space. Understanding where the bulk of conversation is coming from can help uncover new places to put up digital billboards.
For some clients, the thought of having to “engage” with customers on new channels outside of the comfort zone is scary. It’s sometimes easier to focus on Facebook advertising and maybe some occassional Twitter engagement. While this is an important first step, I think companies need to start marketing and advertising on mediums other than the usual suspects in order to have simple and easy access to their target audiences. Finding the next tier of social media channels focused on your industry, products or services will be crucial to the next step in social media marketing. And who knows, advertising on these channels may even provide better ROI!