Social media will this year establish itself as a marketing channel in its own right for those working in the field of website optimisation, industry experts have claimed.
A survey published last week by the website marketing software solutions company Unica suggested that social media is an emerging platform which, alongside mobile and rich media, is currently being eagerly adopted by marketers.
Nearly 50 per cent of those surveyed had already embraced social media marketing, with a further 25 per cent claiming they were planning to embrace the platform in the next 12 months.
The growth of social media marketing is also evidenced by Google’s latest output, Social Search, which allows users to search for information via personal connections on Twitter and other networking sites.
Paul McNulty, chief marketing officer at Unica, has said that marketing is becoming "more immediate, more personal, more social and more engaging".
However, he noted that while Unica found social media adoption was "healthy" across most outlets, such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, it was essential to integrate the practice with other marketing tactics for the most successful website optimisation.
This is also a view taken by Kevin Dendy, commercial director at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
Speaking at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A) 2010 event, Mr Dendy explained that social media marketing is "definitely becoming mainstream".
To maximise the potential of this medium, he recommended that it should be conducted alongside direct marketing, adding that successful website promotion campaigns tended to integrate multiple channels.
Mr Dendy explained that social media marketing would be key for the DMA to advance the impact of their brand in 2010.
"The Direct Marketing Association itself is fully embroiled in getting involved in social media and digital – one of our strategic objectives for this year is digital campaigns," Mr Dendy explained.