Holiday shopping is just around the corner, and a recent report from PRWeek and MS&L Group indicates that 79 percent of marketers are spending more than $100 thousand on social media campaigns this year.

Holiday shopping is just around the corner, and a recent report from PRWeek and MS&L Group indicates that 79 percent of marketers are spending more than $100,000 on social media campaigns this year. At the same time, more than one-third of these marketers (36 percent) say they have "no specific approach" to marketing on social platforms. As sites such as Facebook and Twitter become more cluttered with brand information, it's time for marketers to put a plan in place, and they may look to Nokia for inspiration.

The communications company excels at listening to customer chatter and, importantly, responding. Nokia started a social blog – Nokia Conversations – during its transition from a hardware manufacturer to a mobile device services company. As Brafton has reported, marketing blogs are a burgeoning tool among businesses. Nokia's blog readers have the ability to comment, and bloggers for the company take the time to respond. Plus, Nokia uses this information when tweaking business plans. Laurie Armstrong, director of communications for Nokia North America, told PRWeek, "the feedback we've received… is helping to shape our products and our approach to the marketplace."

Nokia also keeps up the conversation on its Twitter and Facebook pages. It has more than one million fans on Facebook, and it keeps these consumers engaged with interactive posts. The company offers videos from its YouTube channel and broadcasts its blog posts on its Facebook wall, but it repositions this content by directly asking fans to respond. For instance, Nokia posted its YouTube video about the company's N8, and then asked Facebook users what they would do with the new device. The post had garnered 1,193 "likes" and 184 comments at press time.

Similarly, Nokia's Twitter page is a healthy mix of product-related content and interactive tweets. It offers followers information about new services, but it also provides links to some mobile games that may catch consumers' interests. It's also clear that Nokia employees scan Twitter for brand mentions, because the company tweets ample @replies in response to users' Nokia-related comments. This could be key to converting followers, as Brafton reported earlier this year that Twitter users want a little more conversation from brands.

Marketers should get their own social strategies in place to boost their brands on social networks in light of the big shopping season ahead. Last year, comScore reported that nearly one-third of holiday shoppers (28 percent) said social media influenced their gift-buying decisions, and the platform is poised to impact even more purchases this year.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.