Recently I have read another great article on Econsultancy giving a valid view that we may be in the midst of a Social Media bubble, with another dot.com esque scenario to ensue.
But I am not so sure. Whilst I agree with many of the points made in ‘Are we in a Social Media Bubble?’ I thought it was important to address some of these views.
It is true; Social Media ROI is not as straightforward as AOV in the PPC world to measure. However, by having a clear strategy of what you are using social media for and what you are trying to achieve makes it possible to assign measurable metrics to your efforts.
“Many firms now accept, without question, the idea they should ‘initiate’ conversations…”
Companies that enter the social arena without any concept of why they created various profiles across the web are destined to fail. If your social media agency is suggesting you create Twitter and Facebook accounts to talk to your ‘customers’ in the places they ‘hang out’ then you’re in trouble too!
Social Media networks are now such an excepted part of everyday life.
“Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 and 96% of people born after 2000 are part of a social network. 78% would trust peer recommendations of products and services, whilst only 14% trust advertising.” Social Media Revolution 2
With these sorts of figures, it is imperative that your company are ‘listening’ to what is being said about them and their competitors. The research that can be gained from social networks is what fuels future marketing campaigns. Traditional forms of marketing are continually being integrated with social, with many TV adverts now directing viewers to their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
The customer service/care element of social media is clear to see. As the speed at which we expect to find information, opinions, videos and more, Social Media, in my opinion will continue to grow as a necessity for businesses rather than a luxury, ‘nice to have’ service.
Twitter is now being used by some companies as they main point of contact for customer services, allowing for almost real-time results, ‘seen’ publically. This has its implications in that if you are not seen as dealing with a complaint efficiently and promptly then your brand will suffer. However, you should not enter any form of communication with your customers or the greater public without first having clear goals and a structure of how this should be approached. Social Media is no different!
But to get this right, which many companies are doing, continue to build their brand awareness, customer loyalty which ultimately leads to sales. Sentiment of your brand is crucial as online consumers are now so fickle, therefore brand monitoring is vital.
Marketing has always been about getting ads in the right places, in front of as many people as possible. TV advertisements for some companies completely rely on brand perception and personality, with no clear marketing message or ‘call to action’, yet big brands continue to ‘throw’ money at this channel, which is notoriously difficult to track for ROI purposes. Yet with the rise in popularity of social networks, you are increasingly seeing brands incorporate Facebook messages in their advert.
Companies who just blindly leap into the world of social are asking for it really. The same principles exist within Social Media that do with any other marketing channel, in respect to having a clear strategy of what you are trying to achieve, what you want to measure and what you are going to do with the information. Choosing an agency who integrates your Social Media with SEO, PPC and Mobile strategies will always drive results. This is why iThinkMedia works alongside in-house marketing teams, giving the brand a personality, whilst guiding through best practices and plotting a clear strategy to achieve specific goals. Being able to track what is being said about your company is a valuable service that we provide via Buzz Monitoring.
Social Media is here to stay and iThinkMedia can help you succeed!