Everybody is going social and brands know social is a must buy. But the question they are all asking is “what to buy”? Facebook is the obvious answer, but maybe not for all brands. Facebook has been a great outlet for driving traffic to fan pages, increasing ‘likes’ and promoting app downloads but, for a major brand marketer, does Facebook deliver the type of returns they are looking for? GM, for one, has decided to shift their multi-million dollar FB spend, having determined that paid ads on the site have little impact on sales.
The good news (and bad news): there is a wide variety of options out there for brands to consider in social media. The challenge is that most brands don’t know how to expand beyond building a fan page on Facebook, focusing on ‘likes’ or tweeting noise about their product or events. They are missing the larger picture of the power of the social audience.
It seems simple, but when evaluating where you want to put your social dollars, you need to consider your goals and objectives.
Facebook: Massive scale globally with a simple buying model, but given the explosive growth, their pricing is going up and ROI is harder to achieve. Plus, Facebook is a “walled garden” making it much harder to monitor and track downstream conversions.
Twitter: Great for the marketer who wants to actively communicate with their vocal customers. Many find Twitter a great retention tool. But for a pure-play brand program many are finding it difficult to scale and move budgets effectively.
LinkedIn: Perfect for the B2B marketer or large organisations with big recruiting budgets. The news feed is a nice aggregation point but the social interactions are limited to the direct 1:1 connections between members, making it hard to strike up a brand conversation.
Pinterest: Ideal for the marketer with a large product catalogue or glamour shots. The community is rabid and growing like a weed, making it a venerable petri dish for innovation and scaling eCommerce sales.
G+: Ideal for those who want to be on the bleeding edge or alone in a ghost town depending on your optimism.
So how can a marketer take advantage of social and deliver an efficient buy at scale with solid results?
Enter social analytics and retargeting. With the right partner, you can evaluate your brand or product followers, digging deeper into their behaviours, demos and interactions with other consumers and, more importantly, other brands and media outlets. With careful analysis you can understand the consumer passion points and how they relate to your brand.
Once you understand the various segments of consumers, your social and retargeting partner can construct a comprehensive plan that integrates a custom media channel built from exactly those sites and blogs your consumers read. This will provide more insight into:
- What sites and blogs are visited frequently
- What kind of articles consumers like to share
- What keywords and affiliations consumers have
- How to develop audience segments based on the attributes your fans and influencers represent
- Where to overlay rich media creative to best engage your consumers with social feeds and points of interaction (POI) for real-time feedback
What other social outlets or tactics do you think are critical for brands today?
The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc.
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