Social media study

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

13 May 2019

Social media study shows struggle with importance

Many marketers love social media because it’s cheap. And you can measure it in terms of likes, shares, retweets and comments. But, as a recent social media study shows, marketers struggle to prove its value and a handful simply wonder if it’s effective at all.

Social media is a must-have in today’s iPhone world. But marketers should never mistake it for a share-stealing strategy. In fact, the ones who care most about your social media are already your customers. Even more so, they represent the extreme faction of your supporters.

There is, simply, little social media accomplishes to steal market share. Yet, like a bank having at least one branch in town to seem viable, you still need a social media campaign. Just don’t go overboard with its importance.

social media studyThe social media study, by Sprout Social, is more consumer-focused than marketer-focused. The results from consumers are what you’d typically predict. They like to be entertained. They disengage if there’s poor customer service and so on.

More revealingly, the social media study says nearly half of marketers say developing social strategies that support business goals is their main challenge. Also, half report difficulty proving social media’s value and 22% worry their social strategy is ineffective.

Social media study demonstrates marketers’s difficulties

That’s because most brands place social media too high in priority. It should be considered in the customer service department more than marketing, if we’re being honest with ourselves. Those who interact most are looking for deals and news or help with a service or product.

“So, I think the marketers in this social media study have it right. It is difficult to prove social media’s value to business goals. And, without a meaningful brand that emotionally attracts new audiences, it’s often ineffective. Keep social media in perspective.”

What they’re not doing is switching brands because of it. So, no wonder so many marketers report trouble proving its value, according to the social media report.

Some brands get into trouble by thinking social media is the cheap trick to gain followers, therefore attracting new customers. When social media becomes your primary strategy you’re really not doing anything to increase preference or awareness.

Getting positive response from your social media doesn’t mean all that much. We’ve worked with banks and credit unions that gush about the 2% of customers who come into their branches often, signing their praises. Like they are representative of their customer bases or prospects. Social media is often the same.

So, I think the marketers in this social media study have it right. It is difficult to prove social media’s value to business goals. And, without a meaningful brand that emotionally attracts new audiences, it’s often ineffective. Keep social media in perspective.

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