Large companies are positioning themselves to take on key roles as service providers in the booming social media industry. Brands will be using these services to improve their social media performance and publishing potential. But they’ll also be looking to cut spending further on traditional media in order to pay for the costs associated with social media management.
The Social Media Ecosystem report jointly published by the Jordan Edmiston Group and supported by the IAB contains too much great data to summarize in one blog post. But one statement in the report, “The ultimate goal is to amplify the earned media to shift or decrease the total media cost for brands,” highlights how power in the media industry is changing. In looking at one unnamed brand, analysts predict that the company will be able to spend 10% less on paid media while still optimizing the outcome of their owned and earned media. Across the country, brands will be doing this as they engage the 4 main types of social media users: Influencers, Advocates, Socializers and Observers.
While publishers are busy creating and curating content, they need help managing the data and making the marketing case to would-be advertisers. Stepping into the new business model equation of social media are companies, both old and new, that will be positioning themselves as big data experts. This report specifically mentions Salorix and IBM. In the past few years, established companies like IBM have been recreating themselves by buying start-ups with promising technology aimed at the social media world. These businesses will become an integral part of social media marketing, along with publishers and marketers. And some of these businesses, as they develop methodologies and processes will likely try to advise advertisers how to measure the ROI of their social media investment.
Time will tell whether advertisers believe that their shift to social media and the associated costs are paying off. In the meantime, traditional publishers may have a harder time maintaining key roles in the digital space. Some may already be merging with new service providers to expand into a new kind of publishing – helping advertisers create and use content to reach customers.[Source: Social Media Ecosystem report. IAB.net. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2012]