What’s Working and What’s Not in Social Media?

John Hope-Johnstone

Sometimes it is a good idea to stop and ask what is working and what is not in marketing.

With social media being the new kid on the block, I wanted to take this post and ask does corporate America believe social media is fulfilling expectations.

The following, from eMarketer (a great source of Social Media information), the following graphs show the key social media activities that corporate marketers are using:

According to this July 2009 study, building “brand awareness” is the top reason an organizations will use social media. This would place it squarely in the court of Public Relations. Second, is networking and third is  customer services.

Now, nearly two years later it is valuable to ask if  organizations are satisfied with their social media efforts.

Brand development, expressed in this chart as “awareness” seems to have done moderately well with only about 13% points lower than initial expectation. This can be explained, possibly, by the dissatisfied organizations NOT having a strategy, or not the right one. It is still a reasonable satisfaction level for brand awareness.

Identifying and attracting your next customer, which in the 2009 study could be related possibly to “networking”, shows a higher level of dissatisfaction with an 18% percentage point difference between initial expectations and final results.

Staying engaged with customers seems to be the most effective use of social media in the eyes of the marketing executives. With people feeling that this category exceeded expectation by three percentage points.

A majority of the early fans of a business facebook page will be the organization’s present consumers. This is only natural as they are easy to target and have a built-in positive bias towards the organization. Keeping in contact with your top consumers is a vital role for any marketing executive and one in which social media excels.

As far as this study is concerned, the two areas of marketing that social media has reached expectations are: 1) Brand awareness, 2) Maintaining customer contact.

MarketingProfs survey of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers, as reported by eMarketer, found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones.

The most common marketing tactic used on Facebook was attempting to drive traffic to corporate sites through status updates. The most effective tactic for consumer-oriented companies, as reported by eMarketer, was creating Facebook applications, which was done by less than one-quarter of total respondents. Both B2B and B2C companies also reported that surveying their fans was an effective tool; fan surveys were the third-most-common tactic attempted.

Thanks to eMarketer and Marketing Profs for this insight. I hope this has helped you get a grasp on what other organizations find works or does not, in social media.

Your viewpoint and comments are always appreciated. Thanks for reading. We invite you to subscribe.


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