An internet expert said today that online marketing professionals – and indeed all marketing professionals – need to raise their game and prepare for the vast potential of social media.
Dan Oliver, who is the editor-in-chief of .net magazine, admitted that at the moment it is early days for online advertising and marketing via social media such as Facebook and, increasingly, Twitter, but stressed that over the next few years, the size and importance of the social media market is set to grow exponentially.
The tentative nature of the sector is one of its biggest attractions, Mr Oliver argued.
“At the moment there’s little best practice in this area, which means most companies and social media specialists are still in a period of experimentation,” he said – adding that businesses reliant on their web presence would be “crazy” to ignore online marketing through as many media as possible.
“Even the most traditional forms of marketing, such as print brochures, can now be enhanced and personalised via digital campaigns,” he noted.
The magazine editor also said that although there is no established best practice right now for businesses seeking to exploit social media, this will change as the medium itself matures.
Mr Oliver made his remarks following the 2011 Travel Report by Bigmouthmedia, which revealed that the holiday sector is defying challenging economic conditions to ramp up its investment in online advertising and marketing.
Recent statistics from the USA illustrate how popular social media is becoming on the internet – with social networking now accounting for 22 per cent of all time spent online.