Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

Rumor Has It Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Matter

A marketing manager told me his company doesn’t promote its brand on Facebook because, “That’s for personal stuff. People don’t want to be sold to there.”

Oh really?

Then how is it Coca-Cola, Target, Pizza Hut, Sears, Whole Foods, Microsoft, Best Buy, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, Red Bull and a gaggle of other companies are building their brands via Facebook fan pages and groups?

The reality is, people are increasingly visiting Facebook, and other social media platforms, expecting to find favorite brands there. And if the brand is absent, it may have a negative effect.

Facebook, a friend indeed

A study by Performics and ROI Research, titled The Impact of Social Media: A deep dive on how consumers are adopting social networking sites and interacting with brands surveyed 3,000 U.S. consumers and found active Facebook users welcomed messages from marketers. After connecting with a brand on Facebook they were:

  • 44% more likely to purchase the product
  • 46% more likely to recommend the product
  • 46% more likely talk about the product
  • 27% more likely to post an ad for the product

In November, Razorfish issued Feed: The Digital Brand Experience Report 2009. Based on an in-depth poll of 1,000 “connected consumers,” its findings determined 40% of those surveyed have “friended” a brand on either Facebook or MySpace.  Akin to Performics’ results, that same group indicated befriending a brand plays into their decision to purchase and/or recommend a product.

Teens don’t tweet, right?

Have you heard teens don’t use Twitter?

This pearl of wisdom was largely fueled by a report titled How Teenagers Consume Media issued in July by Morgan Stanley. The “research” was conducted by a 15 year-old summer intern, who concluded that European teens are down on Twitter. Many media outlets jumped on this juicy nugget. Immediately, people started chirping the “teens don’t tweet” line.

If you bothered to actually read the report, however, you’d note in the second paragraph it states: “Without claiming representation or statistical accuracy, his piece provides one of the clearest and most thought provoking insights we have seen. So we published it.”

Excuse me? There’s no claim of statistical accuracy? So the findings are based on what? The opinions of this young bloke’s chums?

Meanwhile, in September, comScore, a provider of business intelligence that employs rigorous research practice, issued a survey that showed users in the 12-17 and 18-24 age groups are Twitter’s fastest growing audience segments.

Call me crazy, but I’m inclined to trust a company that has a certifiable methodology rather than a report based on anecdotal evidence.

It’s common knowledge (not)

My point is simple: Common knowledge about what kind of people do or do not use a particular social media platform, along with ideas about what type of experience is or is not acceptable on those networks, may be just that — ideas. As in, the “knowledge” can be inaccurate.

If you’re working on a communications plan do your due diligence. Seek out reliable market data. Don’t risk losing out on a great market opportunity by basing your strategy on hearsay.

Then again, maybe it’s not worth the trouble. It won’t make a difference. Everyone knows marketing is just a bunch of b.s.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think about the reliability of market research about social media? Do you know of other inaccuracies that are often cited as fact?


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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .


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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. LaNeshe says:

    Nice post. I think more and more social media will be THE place to market.

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