Floundering Progress by Businesses Attributed to Unqualified Practitioners
90% of businesses in 2009 failed to gain significant value from social media (Community Marketing Blog). Despite November’s 2009 statistics of YouTube’s 6.75 billion streams (Nielsen Wire) and Facebook’s 2.6 billion visits (Compete.com) many businesses are floundering with inexperienced practitioners and poor guidance for effective social media marketing.
Toronto Ontario Canada (January 4, 2009) “Planning, professional experience and effective measurements are some of the missing links that keep most organizations from achieving success with social media,” says Andrew Ballenthin, President of Sol Solutions an integrated marketing consultancy based out of Ontario. Many businesses failed to get a payback on their social media initiatives in part due to unqualified practitioners who have never been independently assessed as being capable of delivering the solutions they’ve been hired to deliver. When a business embarks on a program of using social media they should demand proven competency by the professional that are asking to apply it.
2009 saw the birth of an innovative concept called Blog-Off contests hosted by the Community Marketing Blog in response to the lack of unauthenticated new social media consultants springing up overnight. Andrew Ballenthin created this event as a forum for social media marketing enthusiasts to engage in a monitored event that would independently validate the individual’s capabilities. “With the emergence of social media I believe the Blog-Off competitions are an important process for measuring social media consultants and business practitioners,” says Jon Hansen. Hansen is an author and acclaimed online show host who’s PI Social Media Network reaches over one million monthly syndicated listeners and readers.
Blog-Off II (#BlogOff2) ran December 1-12 and had participants from the United States, Canada, England, the Netherlands, Italy and India. $45,000 in prizes was pooled by volunteer promotional sponsors. Seven independent volunteer judges with strong backgrounds in marketing and digital media were selected to evaluate the entrant’s ability to write effectively and engage their readers in the content. Judges included, Mark Sinclair, Jon Hansen, Patrice-Anne Rutledge, Mike McClure, Ted Morris, Andrew Jenkins and Julie Tyios.
The top three winners from Blog-Off II were measured on their ability to bring traffic to their content, engage and interact with their community of readers and write original articles that benefited readers. First place was captured by Sean Nelson, second place by Sam Diener and third place by Tim Ruffner. These individuals demonstrated the fundamentals of personal branding, community and social media marketing according to the event’s judges. “The winners embodied excellence in the fundamentals of what measurable social media should be,” according to Patrice-Anne Rutledge, business technology expert and best selling author of 30 published books.
Plans are underway for Blog-Off III in 2010. Contestants are already stepping forward to participate in the next event because they see the value in being independently validated as a valuable asset to offer future clients and employers.
Forrester Research projects that interactive marketing will represent nearly $55 billion in spending by 2014 representing 21% of all marketing spend. With social media being a key component of this future marketing growth Blog-Off events will play a formative role in identifying leading professionals who can deliver measurable business results in social media marketing.
All statistics indicate social media will continue to burst at the seams with activity in 2010. The words to watch this year will be “professional validation” and “measurements” if 90% of businesses are to transition from being busy with social media to being effective.
Check out the winners of Blog off 2 contest and get more insights on social media at What Does It Take To Be Effective In Social Media?