As recently as May of this year, two-third of marketers in the United Kingdom (UK) said “they don’t understand social media,” according to a survey from McCann Erickson Bristol. Interestingly enough, 86% believe that that social media is here to stay. So while a specific social media skill level may not be on par, the conceptual understanding of social media’s importance is. Therefore brands that want to incorporate social media into their UK-based Communications and Marketing plans should a) focus on the basics and b) look to other country’s success stories.
Back to Basics
In my first blog entry of the semester, I discussed three things – Authenticity, Transparency and Relevancy. Without sounding redundant, I believe that these important characteristics can serve as framework for UK marketers to test the social media waters because they are both broad and easy to understand. These are not only social media concepts, but in general good PR practices. Therefore, marketers can easily apply these theoretical skills to concrete social media software programs such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Countries such as Brazil, Russia and China are experiencing social media growth at a rapid rate. While there are certainly a number of cultural nuances among these diverse nations, they can (and should) serve as models of successfully integrating social media practices into traditional communication plans.
Fortunately, UK marketing professionals understand the power of social media, which is the first and (often most vital step.) By following a basic framework and a other’s examples, UK marketers are sure to find success.