How many articles do we have to read about social media marketing ROI before marketers realize that you can’t measure the ROI on every conversation? The truth is that many marketers have to justify their budgets because company executives are used to cutting “expenses” to improve bottom line results and because too many agency people and “experts” have over sold social media as a golden path to increased sales.
Shhhh ! It’s a secret that only a few of us know about. What is it ? It’s that most consumers do not want to be friends with a brand. That’s right. You see today there are very view iconic brands that people love to say “I’m a fan” and even though they purchase your product they will drop you like a bad habit if you don’t give them a reason to continue to purchase your brand beyond the product itself.
When looking at your social media monitoring strategy, note that your brand/company mentions on social will likely not come from social’s biggest players. Social monitoring website Mention analyzed over 1 billion social mentions from the past two years, and in their analysis they found that 91% of mentions come from people with fewer than 500 followers.
Gallup says 62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013. So if social media fails in conversion, what’s the business justification?
Well, it’s about time! According to the Wall Street Journal, “fans and follower counts are over, social media is not the powerful and persuasive marketing force many companies hoped they would be,” concludes Gallup Inc., which on Monday is releasing a report that examines the subject. Gallup says 62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but Gallup says “consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content.” (Gallup’s survey was conducted via the Web and mail from December 2012 to January 2013. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.)
Social media, social media marketing, and social networking have been the subject of much hype, buzz and marketing budget disruption for brands and marketers. Most marketers fought for social media budgets then entered into social media marketing without a clear-cut strategy or way to measure success because the experts hit and run and told them they need to be on social media. Now that the fog of hype is starting to dissipate marketers are finally taking a hard look at social media and blowing off a lot of “experts” who were expert only at selling books and getting big fees for speaking.
Eric Cantor lost to an upstart. The winner’s campaign was backed by just less than $100,000 against Cantor’s $2 million and thrived on grassroots and word-of-mouth in a low-turnout primary. Cantor believed poll numbers that showed he was clearly ahead but in the end the money he spent and the polls didn’t mean a damn thing compared to voters who were able to see through the charade thanks to the internet.
I know budgets are tight and getting money for market research is sometimes hard, but a post called “Deals and Discounts Dethroned as Reasons to Follow Brands” is at worst misleading and at best just a glimpse into consumer social media behavior. Overall, social network users have different reasons for why they “like” or follow brands online. But, in addition to stated reasons, like receiving deals and discounts, they demonstrate that they also want to be entertained by brands. Marketers, whether they work for an entertainment-related brand or not, can use this knowledge when planning what content to post on social sites. Imagine a marketing executive saying that he wanted to create a facebook page to “entertain” customers.