In an attempt to deliver more tangible returns from their social media investments, brands are falling back on tried and tested methods of ‘pushing the needle’, most often using the familiar tools of advertising.
This partly stems from the misuse of ‘proxy’ measures in determining social ROI, such as followers, likes, shares and fans. None of these deliver value and are easily abused – with many marketers seeing them as just another contact list.
However, advertising and social media are like oil and water and should never be mixed, here’s three reasons why.
The struggle for power which brands are destined to lose
Advertising grew up in an era of the ‘captive audience’, where large numbers of people were repeatedly targeted with a killer sales message until they succumbed and bought a product.
But media in the 2010s is increasingly atomised, consumed on-demand and discussed within peer groups. No longer do we consume together or willingly submit to the Mad Men’s interference.
Brands respond by trying to corral, contain and control audiences, often using their social media pages as a contemporary media ecosystem. But who are they kidding?
According to a study by Napkin Labs just 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook Page via likes, comments and polls, while thanks to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, only a fraction of those will actually see a post on their news feed during a given day.
The vast majority of engagement will stem from super-advocates who deliver significantly higher levels of engagement (retweets, re-posts and comments) than the brand itself, which begs the question: why drive more people to a page, if you’re not interacting with them? – Three reasons why advertising and social media don’t mix by Steve Davies