Are brands becoming disillusioned with social media and should they even measure their social media marketing? That depends who you ask. Some social media and inbound marketing companies are still promoting the hell out of social media and in so doing so they are overpromising results. However, smart marketers understand that social media is an essential part of an integrated marketing program.
Earlier this year a client of mine hired an “inbound marketing” agency here in Boston. They paid six figures to establish an inbound marketing initiative that included social media. After 5 months their engagement numbers had improved, but sales were still declining. Needless to say they were very disillusioned with social media. I was hired to “make sense” of this and after integrating with their business groups my suggestion was to keep social media, but at a reduced level, and instead focus on the moment when consumers become customers. We tested some messages and used them on in store signage and POP displays. The result was an increase in sales of 20%.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work and too many social media agencies are promising too much. The reason that marketers are continually measuring their social media is because of resources and it’s new. I would argue that all brands need social media, but that smart brands understand the emphasis on the “moment of truth” when it comes to their marketing.
Perhaps the best reason to be on social media is that consumers and customers expect you to be there. They expect you listen to what they have to say and to acknowledge them when they post not to continually push sales messages.