Social media is moving from experimental stage to serious commitment for most professional marketers.
For many serious marketers, social media has thus far been mostly experimental. They have considered, explored, tested and sampled various social media options. But researchers at Forrester Research have concluded that now marketers are beginning to get serious about social media. 2010 “is the year social marketing gets serious” stated Forrester Analyst Augie Ray in a recent article by Laurie Sullivan in Online Media Daily.
Social media is maturing and is being taken more seriously by marketers. The growth of social media sites and the increasing use of such sites by consumers makes it very difficult to ignore. Significant audiences exist there and marketers are challenged to find ways to engage consumers on those sites. Social media is beginning to play a more significant role in marketing strategies and budget allocations are increasing for social media options.
Although the tide is moving toward more emphasis on social media, healthcare marketers are not embracing social networks at the same level as other industries. According to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report from MarketingSherpa, healthcare lags considerably behind other industries in anticipated budget commitments to social media. Only 43% of healthcare marketers anticipate increased budget allocations for social media in 2010 as compared to 79% in retail.
The trend is obvious. Social media is no longer just a fad. It is the place many marketers are engaging consumers and building brand awareness and loyalty. While many healthcare marketers are not yet fully embracing social networking, it provides a great opportunity and potential competitive advantage for those who catch the wave and commit to finding effective ways to use the media. It can be a place where healthcare marketers can dominant the competition and gain a significant advantage.
It is time to get serious about social media!