ADOTAS – Social ROI is being measured incorrectly. The metrics used to represent the impact of social don’t represent the true value that it provides for your brand. I see three main myths tripping up marketers who are looking to add value to their social efforts. Let’s look closer
Myth #1: Social media is all about building your numbers.
“Likes” or follows aren’t a strong endorsement of your brand’s worth. If the little number next to the thumbs-up sign on your brand’s Facebook page is your only goal, you’re missing the value of your social spend. Think of a “like” as the same as an email address – it’s only valuable to you if its’ owner opens your email. Having thousands of dormant email addresses does nothing for your brand, just like 1,000 likes that aren’t engaged with it.
Instead of focusing on Likes, focus on using Facebook and Twitter to create connections with real customers and brand enthusiasts. When a fan engages with your brand, you can learn from their behaviors. When you look at the total number of engaged users (as defined by public comments, likes on posts and comments and shares), you can get a more realistic statistic of a brand’s audience base. On average, the top 20 consumer brands on Facebook have an engagement rate of 0.2 percent (when looking at 2014 Q1 figures on Facebook). Keep in mind, I’m not including “likes” as a compelling form of engagement.
Myth #2: Social media is for the audience to learn about your brand.
There’s an old saying: you were given one mouth and two eyes so you could observe twice as much as you say. Your social strategy can learn something from this lesson.
Marketers don’t often get a chance to talk to the customer. You can’t stand below your billboard advertisement and hear who laughs, makes fun of or really connects with it. Social media changes this part of the marketing game.
With social you can get very quick, pretty unbiased, idea of what your audience says, thinks and feels. Not observing behavior equals a huge fail on a brand’s part. For instance, technology now enables brands to track not only interaction with their own page, but also how those who interacted with one page behave across other brand pages. If you observe, you know what else your customers like and that’s an opportunity – the more you know, the more you can innovate, partner or make decisions that make a difference to them. Cross-channel marketing has never had such a boost. From creating intelligent television advertising to making smarter media purchases, brands can wield their data as a strategic tool that speaks directly to their market.
Myth #3: Social is just like traditional advertising.
If you think your social advertising program is just an extension of your traditional advertising processes, think again. Social can do for your team what no other kind of advertising or marketing initiative can: tell you right now which content pieces receive the most attention, what images your audience shared the most, when your audience is most active or engaged AND even how your brand compares to your competitors. No other form of marketing can teach you so much about consumer preferences or provide a real-time feedback loop. Social programs give you the opportunity to unearthing insights about your consumers by seeing who and what they are connected to – something that traditional advertising just can’t compete with.
Social initiatives can provide real-time, instantly-updated feedback about your efforts. With this kind of immediate feedback at your fingertips, do you think you’ll ever do another survey again? Social lets you get faster, more unbiased reactions to your content. Your audience loves it because they aren’t forced to do anything and you gain genuine and useful perspectives. Any marketer worth their weight will be able to do something useful with that kind of data. And those of you who can see the opportunity here will be able to take this information and start re-imagining how you utilize and learn from your social investment.
Lance Neuhauser is the CEO of 4C, a social intelligence company offering advertising and measurement platforms. Neuhauser’s entrepreneurial spirit is supported by 14 years of leadership experience in marketing, strategy and account management. Originally founder and CEO of The Echo System, Neuhauser transitioned to the role of CEO at VoxSup Inc. when the companies merged, continuing to pursue the mission of turning raw social data into brand results.