Digital Marketing and Social Media: Why Bother?

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Many companies and organisations look at digital marketing and social media and consider why bother? Is it worth our time and investment? With real social relationships migrating to the virtual world online communities have developed that bring people together across the globe. Organisations know they should engage in online activities and be part of these online communities but many still don’t. A journal article by Maria Tiago and Jose Verıssimo considers just that, ‘Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?’

While there are many journals arguing the case for engaging with customers online and how beneficial it is for customers there are very few that consider the reverse of this. I found this article interesting as it looks at digital marketing and recent digital trends but mainly looks at how companies and organisations might benefit from online investment.

Written from the perspective of a business or organisation this journal first lays out an understanding of digital marketing and social media usage as well as its benefits and inhibitors before considering the investment required. An area often overlooked by organisations is that developing a digital strategy and social media strategy requires investment from organisations in terms of time and finances. The most interesting part of the article is the author’s research into where companies plan on investing, the table below shows their results;

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(Tiago, Verıssimo 2014:706)

81% of businesses want to invest in social media. Social media is seen as the way forward for many businesses. In addition to this the next biggest area of Investment is email marketing, despite this area having a bad reputation and often producing poor results.

For any organisations Return on investment is important (ROI) but for digital marketing calculating the return can be difficult. Although several models have been proposed there have been no widely accepted models to measure engagement and return on investment. Considering how dynamic and fast paced digital marketing is with web trends are emerging all the time digital marketing does require on-going substantial investment in order for business to remain competitive.

If you are interested in social media and digital marketing then the paper is well worth a read. Another good book on the topic is ‘Profitable Social Media Marketing’ by Tim Kitchen and Tashmeem Mirza, they consider how to get the best return on investment from Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Linkedin.

What digital marketing area are you wanting to invest in during 2015? leave your comments below.

Tiago, M., Verıssimo, J., Jones, M., and Prybutok, V. (2014) ‘Digital Marketing and Social Media: Why Bother?’. Business Horizons (57), 703-708

Written by Matthew