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Social media tools moving beyond the marketing department

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8th Jan 2010
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Think that social media tools are simply for marketing? Then you're going to get left behind this year, according to Forrester Research.

While 2009 was the year for testing out social computing concepts such as blogs and communities, 2010 will see their transformation into a more mature channel for interacting with customers, believes Forrester Research.

As a result, such tools will start to be adopted beyond simply marketing departments and some organisations will start providing budgets to enable the implementation of actionable strategies. Others will even set up separate units in order to exploit them to the full.

According to a report entitled ‘Top Social Computing Predictions for 2010’ recently published by the research firm, the forthcoming year will see enterprises view such tools less as an end in themselves and more as a means to an end.

This means that they will realise that the value of social media tools lies less as simply a means of acquiring lots of followers and more in turning such followers into business assets. Therefore, there will be an increased focus on measuring the performance of such offerings and in understanding their impact.

A growing appreciation that what is said on one platform such as Twitter will be picked up on another, thereby informing consumers’ overall view of the brand, will likewise mean that interest in such tools is no longer confined to just the social or interactive arm of the marketing department. This situation will manifest itself in the growing appeal of such offerings to customer service and product development departments.

Firms will also start work on improving mobile device support and cross-channel integration to ensure that mobile technology can be used to share information and learn about brands as easily as other modes of access.

But as the adoption of social computing activities moves more into the mainstream so will advocates come under increasing pressure to both use them to turn a profit and ensure that the privacy of customer data is safeguarded.

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