IT Sticking With Traditional Marketing Over Social Media - InformationWeek
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IT Sticking With Traditional Marketing Over Social Media

Tech vendors aren't rushing to replace old-school public relations strategies with blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts, found Tool Guy PR study.

Technology companies prefer traditional public relations methods over newer activities such as blogs, tweets, and social media postings.

Tech businesses averaged approximately 50 tweets and 20 Facebook postings in the third quarter of 2010, a study of about 24 tech companies by Tool Guy PR found. Content included new products, customer wins, partnerships, financial events, and discussion of industry trends, according to the newly released Hype Report.

Volume apparently counts. The most active tweeters -- those with at least 100 tweets -- had the most followers, the study of more than two dozen early-stage technology companies found.

During the same period, these tech companies issued an average of fewer than five press releases, which helped generate almost 160 press mentions, news articles, and feature stories, the agency said. Three of the four companies that received the most coverage issued a combined six press releases, according to Tool Guy PR.

"Social media is making a steady climb up the ladder of importance for marketers, but it's not likely to surpass traditional PR in spend or strategic value any time soon," said Kevin Wolf, founder and president of Tool Guy PR. "The reason stems largely from the ability of companies to more easily measure traditional PR tactics than social media, which has a shorter shelf life and questionable long-term brand value. While we're generally bullish on social media, our advice to clients is to tread carefully as regards the use of Twitter, Facebook, and the like, and to continue funding traditional PR tactics that generate the greatest return on investment."

In last quarter's report, profiled companies averaged 3.65 articles. One-fifth of profiled companies were featured in at least eight articles, and 35% received no coverage, the second-quarter study determined. The survey found 40% of the articles were about products and 14% were about customers or partners; the rest were miscellaneous.

Only one-third of IT vendors used social media as part of their marketing and partner communications strategies, according to a study by Amazon Consulting. But 70% of solution providers use social media for some aspect of their business, the September report found.

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