Marketers obsession with numbers

If I had to sum up a theme for new marketing it would be “quality over quantity”.  Too many marketers are still obsessed with numbers especially numbers that don’t mean a whole lot like impressions, reach, frequency and number of people that like your brand on Facebook.  Now don’t get me wrong Facebook has a substantial number of users but I would rather have 10 people on Twitter who talked with me than 100 on Facebook who “liked” me.

Your customers expect you to be on social media and when you’re not they’re disappointed. As social media growth starts to stall marketers need to understand the strengths of each social media platform as they apply to helping meet business objectives.  When used strategically, social media can prove to be a very powerful ingredient of your company’s digital marketing strategy.

The other question that I love to ask is “are consumers really interacting with Facebook when they like a brand?”  The #1 reason people like a brand on Facebook is discounts and coupons (40%),  #2 is showing support,  #3 is freebies – which is a heck of a lot like #1.  From there it’s to stay informed, get updates, be entertained, and a variety of other things. At the very bottom of the list, at #12, is “to interact” (13%).

According to Forrester the value of a Facebook fan is zero “The smart marketer will approach the question of value as if the answer is zero — there is no intrinsic value to a Facebook fan.  This might sound sacrilegious to social media marketers, but think of it this way:  What’s the value of an email subscriber if the company never uses the database for anything?  And what’s the value of the same email subscriber if the company has a smart, user-focused strategy for email?  It is what companies do with fans that creates value, not merely that a brand has fans.

Read, Write, Web goes one step further when it comes to Facebook marketing;

First, deep campaigns don’t work. Digital agencies love deep, expensive campaigns on Facebook, with tons of pages, interaction, and art. It fits in with how agencies build microsites and websites, and justifies the $100,000-plus price tag that they like to charge. Examples include lightweight games, prediction contests, treasure hunts where you include friends, and such. Unfortunately for agencies and the brands that drop a lot of cash, Facebook users decidedly don’t like deep campaigns.  They do not like to spend 20 or 30 minutes on a single brand’s page, unless they are consuming innovative, funny, or exclusive content. So a travel site looking for a long time spent on a page should not put up a treasure hunt on a world map where you invite your friends and can together find great prizes after exploring cities. Sounds good in a pitch meeting, but it results in abysmally numbers of active users. In addition Like blocking, where a user has to “Like” a Facebook Page in order to access a feature, typically has a 50% or more drop off rate, even when there is something there that is actually worth liking the page to get, such as exclusive content or a great coupon. Putting a Like block on basic content will almost guarantee a 100% drop off rate.

So Rich what are you telling us ?

  • Marketers need to think beyond quantitative metrics and also include qualitative metrics when it comes to social media.
  • You need to be able to have a model that shows the value of a Facebook Like or Twitter follow to your brand/business objectives.
  • The same people who may Like you on Facebook are not necessarily the same people who are going to go to your branded website.  Think about how these two pieces of the puzzle integrate to drive conversion.
  • If you’re on social media and you don’t respond to a consumers question or a customers complaint you could do more damage to your brand that if you weren’t on social media at all.
  • The recently reported news about the decline in US Facebook users should be taken with a grain of salt until we know why and the demographics of the people that are saying “no” to Facebook.
  • One customer who has a quality experience with your brand is worth more than 100 people who Like your Facebook page because she/he is likely to tell others.

One more thing. A media report last week led with the headlines “Less than 5% if Fortune 500 CEO’s on Twitter”.  To that I say “So?” Who the hell cares if a CEO is on Twitter of not ?  Can he or she say something valuable that I want to hear ?


About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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