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.
As if the funeral of organic reach weren’t difficult enough, brands now find that Facebook is not only becoming really expensive but also complicated due to “like” fraud. Companies wonder why they have thousands of fans in countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, and Iran, where they have few if any customers. One analysis found that as many as 40 percent of “likes” for one life sciences company were fraudulent. And it gets worse. When you look at the Facebook ads themselves — the prices of which were up 437 percent year over year in Q4 2013 — advertisers are paying for less than they believe. Clients who buy Facebook placements are telling me they detect 20 percent to 30 percent click fraud on the site using sophisticated forensics. Rather than offshore likers, bots are decimating ad performance on Facebook according to of VentureBeat. So where are the experts now?
With a few exceptions, the first wave of social media firms to trade on the public markets has delivered a disastrous performance that conjures memories of the dot-com bust of 2000. On Thursday, the 800-pound gorilla of the group, Facebook Inc, reported tepid results that shaved some $10 billion off the company’s market cap. The stock has gone straight down since its botched May initial public offering and now trades over a third below its $38 IPO price. Does this mean the end of social media marketing ? In short, no.