The social media landscape has become a cluttered and noisy space, making it difficult for businesses to reap success from their social media marketing efforts, according to a report from Forrester.
In the report, 2011: Now Social Media Marketing Gets Tough, Augie Ray, interactive marketing analyst at Forrester, writes: "As more people adopt social behaviours and more marketers increase their social media budgets, it is tougher than ever to cut through the noise, reach an audience and make an impression."
The report, which also argues that privacy concerns about social channels are on the rise, gives decision-makers guidance on what the evolution of social media will mean for businesses.
One of Forrester's predictions is that social networks will implement and tighten spam filters preventing many tweets and status updates from reaching consumers, with the aim being to prevent users from being bombarded with marketing messages.
"These won't just filter marketer-to-consumer messaging but also marketing messages passed peer-to-peer. Those check-ins, hashtag sweepstakes and other low-value tweets and status updates won't cut it in 2011," said Ray.
The report also warns that "growing mistrust" will make it more difficult to gather friends and followers or get them engaged in social programmes. Due to growing concerns about privacy and companies' access to personally identifiable data, businesses will have to work harder to earn consumers' confidence and to engage with them on social networks, the report argues.
"It will take more than a 'Like' or 'Follow Us' button on a web site to get consumers involved in brands' social programmes in 2011," said Ray.
He added that the most successful marketing programmes will not be exclusive to Facebook, but will extend to other, new social networking tools.
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