People have finally started to recognize how valuable social media marketing can be. Recently one of my health related clients' book publisher was talking about the importance of social media to the traditional publishing industry. She said they now strategize books that have websites for reference materials and more information, and places where people can host e-books and bookmarked pages from new book releases. Just like any marketing campaign, Social Media Marketing (SMM) takes hard work, tracking, which the Internet makes easy, as well as maintenance. And we can easily blend traditional campaign tactics with SMM, including direct-response, branding, or radio spots. It's all about the objective for the campaign, then fine tuning the right strategy. The Web provides the ideal method for measurement and retuirn on investment(SOI). Many organizations are allowing employees to use social networks for business purposes today; it has increased dramatically to 69% in 2008 from 37% last year. More than six in 10 companies are using social media to build and promote their brands, improve communication and increase consumer engagement. There's been a fivefold increase in the percentage of employees who are using popular social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn for business purposes, from 15% in 2007 to 75% this year. About 37% of organizations plan to focus communities on specialty areas where they can provide focused business value. More than 40% of respondents report using one or more of the following tools: user groups, tags, communities, blogs, social networking and videos. What are the most popular internal tools? Social networks, blogs and wikis, with adoption rates of between 50% and 55%. What is the future of Social Media Marketing? Just imagine the magnitude of virtual classrooms! Even futurists like James Canton, the author of "The Extreme Future," has already said that one of the top ten industries of the innovation economy is, education and learning. In an article written by a professor of computer science at Colorado Technical University named Cynthia M. Calonge, she notes, "the benefits outweigh the risks associated with venturing into a virtual world educational platform. For me, the virtual world is my preferred learning and teaching environment." We will all be seeing more and more people setting up social media networks to engage with customers and students, basically to start conversations and share knowledge. This means that websites need to be filled with content to educate people about what they do. The sites must also be optimized properly with the search engines so that they will come up first on the search engines. And blogs are becomming a way of life. Self publishing will win out in the long run. The reality is, that the creation of immediate, portable, transferable, on-demand knowledge sources is way bigger than we can even begin to imagine.