Most brands are clueless when it comes to social media

SUMMARY: Stupidity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  91% of business executives plan to increase their social media budgets over the next three years despite fewer than half of companies who describe their social media strategies as “very effective” when measuring its power to strengthen brand image, raise awareness, increase sales or growing the customer base.

Unity Marketing’s latest “State of Luxury” study, included results from some 200 luxury goods company executives and only 34% rated Instagram “very effective” and this was the most highly rated social media platform. Fewer than 20% rated Facebook “very effective” and more (23%) said it was of “limited effectiveness.”

Why is this happening? Simple. There is a huge performance gap caused by the difference between what companies expect from social media and what consumers want. Brands approach social media primarily as an advertising and marketing media: post images to drive sales and store visits. As a result, they measure it like any outbound advertising campaign. 

But it’s not about them; it’s about users and users don’t want to be advertised on social media. They want to be engaged on social like they are with their friends and families. For them, it’s primarily a communications and information platform. The most successful companies on social media are turning the tables and using it not just to push marketing messages out, but to listen to what consumers are saying and adapting messages accordingly.

Social media departments can’t just be staffed with a small team. It has to be an active team that’s listening all the time and empowered to respond to customer questions and complaints. People want that feeling that they are connecting with a real person behind the brand and that they share their concerns.

The other mistake that too many brands are making is the use of BOTS. When someone is pissed at your product/brand the last thing they want is talking to a BOT. They want issues resolved as quickly as possible and if you fail to do so they will gladly go on social media and tell people that your brand sucks.

The lessons are clear; if you want to succeed in social media hire people who understand what your brand stands for and can be the voice of your brand to customers. You also need to hire someone who understands that no matter what you do you can’t please everyone. There are always going to be some people who you will never be able to satisfy.

Throwing more money into social media is a waste of money unless you first hire the right people and empower them to be the voice of your brand.

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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