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Facehooked, Part II

Facehooked, Part II

How and why marketers in the Middle East are joining the rush to social networking, Part II.

April 22, 2009 7:29 by

And while the rapid flow of information brings marketers closer to customers, Malin stresses that the pressure this puts on organisations requires planning and organisation. “If you put that planning and organisation in place, then you’ve got a very powerful tool to use where you can get continual feedback.”

As for the all-mighty ROI marketers are always looking for, social media doesn’t provide an exact outlet to calculate revenue. People may join fan pages or follow tweets, but in terms of knowing what social networks are doing for a company’s numbers, the domain is still grey. Charging clients for social media work is also an undefined domain for media agencies.

“Social media as a concept is quite new, hence a lot of things you do are not very defined, such as monetization,” says Ali. “How do you know when an agency is doing work for you, how much business is your money generating? It’s not defined as of now. Partly also because tools to monitor these things are still being developed or are, dare I say, primitive.”

With social media a new concept, and even newer to the region, Malin says regional efforts to use the medium as a marketing tool are still too young to judge. And while it’s taken on a big role in the world of marketing, social networking is just one part of what should be a wider, integrated marketing strategy. “The more people that respect you and know what you do, the more opportunities you get,” says Al Hakim. “Social networking is an easier way to do networking, but it doesn’t replace it.”

“Social media is still very broad, it can’t be defined,” he adds. “It can be defined more by the emergent behaviour of people on the web, connecting with each other and expressing opinions without any control. Some tools will fade away; we might have something other than Facebook take over. So it’s not about the tools, it’s about the behaviours.”

Speaking of which, whatever happened to Friends Reunited?

First seen on Communicate magazine.

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