So much for social ROI. Yesterday, the New York Times ran an op-ed debating social media marketing’s ability to deliver sales in comparison to other forms of advertising (for example, traditional search or email marketing).
A recent Forrester report stated paid search matters most for new customers, email matters most for repeat customers, and social tactics are not meaningful sales drivers. Correlating this data, ExactTarget surveyed more than 700 consumers (ages 15+) in its 2012 Channel Preferences study, and 77% responded that email was preferred over social media for communications for promotion offers.
Opt-in email and click throughs driven by paid search represent private acts of engagement that occur deeper in an online sales cycle.
While the linear sales cycle has been disrupted by online media in the past ten years, buying still represents a process.
Since Facebook’s mandatory Timeline conversion and IPO last spring, we’ve been screwed.
In what can only be described as the coup d’etat of strategy plays, Facebook got the world and businesses hooked on its network. Then the social network leveraged its monopoly power, and pulled the ultimate bait and switch in history. Facebook implemented its Timeline interface.
Timeline sabotaged traditional brand page performance, created a money generation vehicle, and sacrificed its users privacy for business purposes.
Well known social media experts like to slough off tough questions about return on investment (ROI) with flip phrases like, “What’s the ROI of your mom?” Now it’s time to turn the tables and ask social media experts, “What’s the ROI of Pinterest?”
For the past few weeks we have experienced a deluge of Pinterest hype across the social media sphere, marketing media, and the periodic mainstream news piece. Pinterest is touted as the next hot thing, and we see a ton of suggestions from “experts” on how to market using Pinterest.
What is rarely offered is demonstrative evidence of ROI. And shared case studies are often sandbox level successes that produce light outcomes like follower counts, but not actual financial results. Here are some examples:
Another example: Last December’s dissecting of Apple’s rigid social media policy that bars any meaningful discussion of the company by employees. There was no great shocker here given the company’s approach to product development and public blogs that leak Apple product news. Yet, the company was painted black and evil for it.
OK. Apple just reported $13 billion of profit last quarter, its best quarter ever. Meanwhile, its more social media friendly competition never get close to performing on this level.
Let’s be clear. Marketing is not about pleasing social media aficionados. It should deliver ROI or outcomes that boost a company’s bottom line.
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