Turning social media skills into a service line
The sea change brought on by social media has forced publishers to quickly ramp up their expertise about the social web – from content to audience development to measurement. Most will tell you they have a long way to go in building out these internal competencies. At least two – IDG and Meredith – have turned their expertise into marketing service lines.
Tech publisher IDG Communications announced this week that it has expanded its social media services line, which it calls IDG Amplify. IDG has been building out its social marketing services over the past four years, and now offers nine distinct services, products and programs for IT marketers, ranging from monitoring to advertising to content development.
The company has worked on more than two dozen social marketing programs over the past year, and its social marketing revenues have grown approximately 60% in the U.S. from 2011 to 2012, IDG spokesman Howard Sholkin said.
New offerings include:
- Social Content Services, which provides content “optimized to expand and deepen specific discussion topics,” the company said in a press release;
- Knowledge Vault Exchange, which extends IDG’s existing Knowledge Vault video presentation and demand generation program into social media;
- Ignite, a social program built around time-sensitive initiatives such as events or product launches;
- Social Pulse, a mobile-based solution “designed to engage users on peer data exchanges with leading and thought-provoking questions on the hottest business technology issues.”
Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), the consumer publisher's marketing services business, has offered social media services since its 2007 acquisition of New Media Strategies. The MXM social practice acts as a full-service social media agency, providing a range of services including strategic consulting, community management and analytics. The group also has a creative team that helps clients develop and curate social content.
“So much of social is about content,” Jack Macleod, SVP and GM of MXM’s social practice, said in a phone interview. “We help clients publish three different buckets of content – original, curated and user-generated – through relevant channels.”
Lately, the group has been working to help clients extend social into more traditional marketing disciplines, such as events.
MXM’s social practice employs about 100 people and has about 30 active clients, Macleod said.
I asked Macleod if the social practice relies on any of the content expertise embedded in Meredith’s publishing unit. “It has been historically separate, but we get more integrated every day,” he said. “One of the value propositions we bring forth is Meredith’s deep heritage of understanding what content resonates with different audiences. We’re just starting to capitalize on that.”