Written by:
Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant

According to a story from BizReport.com, 2012 will be the year that companies with strong brands start taking social media seriously. The most important tools listed were Facebook, SEO (search engine optimization) keyword changes, email marketing and social media marketing.

Experian Hitwise reports that Facebook was the top-searched term in 2011. According to Experian Hitwise, Facebook was on the most popular search terms because four of the top ten searches conducted by US users in 2011 were related to Facebook.  “Facebook” accounted for 3.10 percent of all searches made in 2011 for the third straight year, with an increase of 46 percent year-on-year.

Keyword searches for specific words grew in importance over keyword searches for website names. According to author Kristina Knight, “Hitwise reports an 11% growth of single-word searches in 2011 as terms like ‘face’ and ‘you’ made the top 50 searches.” Marketers need to understand the hit rates in keyword searches and update the keywords in meta tags to reflect these changes.

While Facebook continues to dominate, the up and coming new social media sites are Tumblr and Pinterest . “According to Experian Hitwise, Pinterest is now one of the top 10 sites within Hitwise’s Social category, getting 11 million visits the week of December 17. Comparatively, the week ending June 18 received 40 times fewer hits,” writes Knight.

In addition to Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest two services that are growing are email marketing and social media marketing. According to a recent StrongMail survey, there are four growth opportunities in 2012:

  • 68% of respondents say they’ll work to integrate email and social media in the coming year
  • 60% of respondents will raise email marketing budgets
  • 54% will invest more in social media
  • 37% will increase mobile and search budgets

The StrongMail survey conducted by Zoomerang from November 16 to November 29, 2011, found that of the types of email marketing campaigns small business marketers (SBM) are looking to invest in, 44 percent said they would increase batch promotional programs, 39 percent will increase newsletters and 35 percent will spend more on lifestyle programs.

The study also reported that the top goals for the SMBs were:

  • 48 percent: increasing subscriber engagement
  • 44 percent: increasing segmentation and targeting
  • 32 percent: increasing email opt-ins (subscribers)

How are you going to take advantage of the Hot Digital Marketing Strategies for 2012?

Howard Fenton is a Senior Technology Consultant at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers, in-plants, and manufacturers on workflow management, operations, digital services, and customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.