What’s for dinner this Thanksgiving? A big pile of social media, that’s what!
This week NextBee Media released the findings from its annual holiday media survey and should we be surprised that social media spending is increasing? No, probably not, but what may surprise you is that 70% of the businesses surveyed said they are increasing their social media budgets by 18% while at the same time pulling back 8% from their traditional efforts. This is big for more than one reason.
First, social media spending is positioned to see its largest media buy ever. Call it the recession, call it going green, call it saving on postage, call it better targeting, call it whatever you’d like, the reality is that social media going to take on an incredibly important role this season for retailers. It’s believed that most consumers think they will find better deals or amazing coupons online, to respond to this companies are shifting their media strategies over to the more contextualized and highly indexed areas of social networks the single place where internet users are spending nearly 20% of their online time. Retailers hope to target these frugal shoppers with discounts, last minute promotions, and gift ideas.
Second, the fact that retailers are pulling back 8% of their traditional budgets is even more staggering. We are not talking about half a percent or even one percent, we’re talking nearly 1/10 of traditional budgets getting pulled during one of the most important advertising seasons of the year. It’s also believed that the majority of shoppers will have all their gifts purchased by December 7th this year which means shoppers are looking for discounts now.
This might be the big push social media marketing has been waiting for. The landscape of social media will change dramatically after this holiday season if retailers get the ROI they are looking for, but there is also fear among social networks that this new push will make social communities feel crowded by advertisments. We saw this happen with Myspace a few years ago when it was overrun by advertisers. Users jumped ship to Facebook and Twitter to escape the unchecked and unregulated spam that Myspace openly allowed at that time.
I’ll retouch on this topic once the dust settles in mid-January, but for now, all we can do is get our appetites, email accounts, and status updates ready for the sea of advertisments coming by way of our favorite social networks this Thanksgiving.