Social media marketing = oxymoron ?

oxymorThere has been somewhat of a quiet anti-social media revolution going on with consumers.  First came the news that a think tank predicted Facebook would lose 80% of its users in the near future and then an article in the Times clearly demonstrated how Twitter is becoming more irrelevant.  Marketers may be ramping up their social media marketing, but consumers are moving on.

A study just published by the Public Library of Science, conducted by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan and Philippe Verduyn of Leuven University in Belgium, has shown that the more someone uses Facebook, the less satisfied he is with life.

Past investigations have found that using Facebook is associated with jealousy, social tension, isolation and depression. But these studies have all been “cross-sectional”—in other words, snapshots in time. As such, they risk confusing correlation with causation: perhaps those who spend more time on social media are more prone to negative emotions in the first place.

Social media is not delivering the desired result for the majority of enterprises worldwide, according to a global trend report published by Tata Consultancy Services.

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Very few (10 percent) enterprises have actually benefited from investments in social media.

Consumers do use social media to interact with companies but findings of the report indicate that only 27 percent of research and development/product development and 37 percent of product management departments read social media comments from consumers on a regular basis.

Eighty-one percent of those who are benefiting from social media go beyond just having company pages on social networks and have corporate blogs.

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In addition 61% of adults who are on Facebook voluntarily took a break from the social networking site for a period of several weeks or more sometime in the past and 20% of online adults who once used Facebook say they no longer do so, a new study from the Pew Research Center found.

What’s a marketer to do?

1ne: Think about where your audience really makes the decision to become a customer (it’s usually not on social media except for reviews of local businesses).

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2wo: Stop wasting hours and hours trying to justify social media ROI.  Either you get that you should be listening and acting or you don’t.

3hree: Your branded website should be your first priority.  This means testing and validating the site and conducting usability testing as needed.

4our: Stop listening to social media “experts” who are good at promoting themselves rather than actual business results.

5ive: What in the world makes you think consumers want to have a social relationship with your brand?  P L E A S E !

The best skill any marketer can have is the ability to think like a consumer and ask “why do I want to give you my hard earned money?”.