Brands still stuck in social media hype

  • The top three digital marketing channels businesses use are social media marketing (81%), a website (78%), and email marketing (69%).
  • The least popular digital marketing channel businesses invest in is SEO (44%).
  • Businesses value social media marketing, websites, and email marketing because they can use those channels to tell a story about their products or brand.
  • Social media is pretty much dead for marketing.

Social media is taking up a bigger portion of marketing budgets, but fewer companies said they have been able to quantitatively measure its impact. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Only 15% of marketers can show the impact of social media on their businesses using quantitative approaches[/inlinetweet], while 40% of marketers can only demonstrate the impact qualitatively. Nearly half of marketers said they haven’t been able to demonstrate the impact of social media spending on their business at all.  So why the continued investment in social media?

First, the hype cycle around social media is still in play with stories about Twitter or Instagram.  Second, agencies have been brainwashed by social media sales people and they communicate to clients that social media is essential.

Marketers were promised that social media would be the magic carpet on which our legions of brand advocates would go to spread the word about the marvelousness of our brands, and would free us from the terrible, wasteful expense of advertising. It has done nothing of the sort. In fact, it is often the exact opposite. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Social media is usually where people go to scream about the mistreatment they get at the hands of companies. And where companies go to beg forgiveness.[/inlinetweet]

It’s time to bury the myth that social media marketing can actually help brands achieve their marketing goals. The “so called experts” should be called out and so should marketers who followed their foolish, self-promotional nonsense.

There is a difference between social media and social media marketing. Sure, everyone and their mother are using social media, but they aren’t using it to talk with brands, As the Type A Group says “social media marketing — the idea that consumers want to “join the conversation” about brands and spread their enthusiasm for furniture polish and frozen chicken wings all over the web so “you don’t have to pay for advertising any more” — is about as dead as dead gets”.

The problem is that the evidence that social media marketing has been a mass delusion is piling up and reaching a point at which it is becoming hard to hide from. To wit:

– A recent report published in the Harvard Business Review says: “Across 16 studies, we found no evidence that following a brand on social media changes people’s purchasing behavior….nor does it spur purchasing by friends.”

In a study by Duke University, the American Marketing Association and Deloitte,[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] over 88% of senior marketers surveyed said they could find no measurable impact from social media marketing.[/inlinetweet]

– A study by Forrester Research reported that only .07% — that’s 7 in ten thousand — of a major brand’s Facebook followers ever engage with one of its posts.

– Coca-Cola’s Global marketing chief, Marcos de Quinto said, “Social media is the strategy for those who don’t have a…digital strategy.”

Why ignore SEO?

In 2017 46.8% of the global population accessed the internet and by 2021 this figure is projected to grow to 53.7%.  In fact, most searches for product information start on Amazon.  Over half of Americans now go to Amazon to carry out their first search for products, turning away from search engines and other online retailers.

Why are brands ignoring search?

1ne: Businesses lack awareness about how SEO functions.

2wo; Google has not kept up educating and informing brands about changing algorithms.

3hree: Marketers aren’t provided with the right metrics.

Is SEO really important vs. social media?

It depends on your business.  How often are people likely to search Google for Lay’s Potato Chips versus a review of a nearby restaurant?   Marketers need to think like consumers to better understand SEO versus social media, but as far as consumers are concerned with social media is dead for marketing.