Without the cross-influence of traditional advertising, "likes" on social media are of little value
The company invests billions of dollars each year to create and maintain a sense of brand presence on social media. Facebook is the platform of choice for many brands: 80% of Fortune 500 companies have active Facebook pages. Every day, a large amount of brand-derived content (articles, photos, videos, etc.) appears on these pages and other social media platforms.Everything is inducing consumers to focus on the brand, interact with it, and buy products.Even the State Department is obsessed with attracting followers - it spent $630,000 between 2011 and 2013 to get more "likes" on Facebook.
Marketers explain these investments by attracting social media followers, increasing brand exposure, and ultimately increasing sales. By this logic, new fans who support a brand endorsement on a social network, such as giving brand likes on Facebook, will spend more money on products or services than they do without being circled, and their recognition of the brand will encourage friends or friends to consume it, and eventually the brand's business will get better and better. A lot of the evidence seems to support this logic at first glance:Several brands have found that consumers who interact with themselves frequently on social media do spend more than consumers who don't.
However, the study and other similar investigations have a fatal logical error: a confusion between causes and consequences. Attracting consumers to a brand on social media can indeed boost consumption.But perhaps people who care about a brand already have a taste for it, which is why they spend more than people who don't.
The result is clear: social media doesn't work as well as many marketers think.Brand identity on the Internet can neither stimulate buying behavior nor stimulate the consumption of consumer friends. However, the use of marketing content to promote brand identity, will have a significant effect.Because social media pages are a gathering place for loyal customers, they are a unique way for brands to get feedback from consumers and key people. Marketers can use the information they get from web pages to develop new, more successful social media strategies.
So how can companies unleash the power of "likes"?
The good news is that there are ways to translate likes into meaningful behavior, and they do come from the 20th-century "marketing strategy manual": advertising.FacebookAdvertising revenue exceeds $22 billion a year. Most of the revenue comes from brands that try to circumvent Facebook's algorithms to ensure that branded content is in a prominent position and attracts the attention of many users.
Social media has become so popular over the past decade that many predict a revolutionary shift in marketing strategy in the future. We often hear that "push marketing", the brand's outreach, promotion of products and services, will end, and "pull marketing", using social media and other channels to make customers their own part, will rise. "More judo, less empty-handed" has become a buzzword.However, our research shows that if social network marketing uses only pull strategies, it won't work. Modern social media marketing strategy should combine old and new marketing methods.
FacebookThe company has not been open to buying "focus display" permission - the company can not focus on loyal customers to promote. However, our research shows thatFocusing on behavior can help the company gain significant value.To overcome this obstacle,Smart companies choose to monitor their social networking channels, discover compelling acceptance words, and then incorporate those languages into their marketing messages.
Lululemon, a sportswear brand, collects consumer-sponsored, brand-friendly content by tracking labels such as the "Sweaty Life" label and forwarding. More brands are also adopting the now increasingly common practice of "seeding" social identity - spending money on appealing opinion leaders to try out their brands and then sending "endorsement" content to followers.
The act of giving brand likes doesn't affect online friends - and the reason behind this phenomenon is that likes are a very weak form of recognition.Our research shows that there is a gap between Zan's influence and real-life recommendations. But experiments by MIT's Sinan Aral and colleagues show thatBrand identity, including brand recommendations in a broader context, can lead to behavioural changes.
Experiments have shown that people are less likely to download and use an app if they are simply told that a friend has downloaded it, but they are more likely to use the app if a friend recommends it themselves. Other experiments have shown that "deeper" social media recognition can narrow the gap between reality and digital recommendations. Research has found that if you see Facebook posts showing that Facebook friends are using a product (and not just like it), you're more likely to buy it. If the product users privately send text messages to friends, recommended to use the product, it will be more convincing. However, it may take a lot of effort and capital to facilitate such a deep level of brand interaction.
Our research shows thatWhen brands "focus on presentation," it works great when you choose online posts and user-provided content that's more creative and meaningful than simple "likes."TripAdvisor informs, for example, shows people who browse a hotel's information about which Facebook friends have booked a room at the hotel.
FacebookOne of the reasons advertising is effective is that brands' social media pages appeal to an ideal audience, and their "likes" point a way to target ads with precision.Even if brands decide not to invest in advertising, they can still use social media channels to reach out to their most loyal consumers and get relevant information. Brands don't have to use flash content or other seductive means to attract new followers;
Companies that choose "pull marketing" should focus on organic growth so that consumers can follow them. People who are willing to work hard to find a brand on social media are almost certainly the most loyal and valuable customers of the brand.These groups of customers are the brand's greatest asset: they actively provide feedback to promote product development, management and delivery, defend the brand when it receives unfair complaints, and are the earliest users and promoters of new products or services.
Lego Toys, for example, uses its own social media channels to gather customer opinions on new products and promote new product lines. KLM apparently used its Twitter account as a tool to gather customer feedback; in addition to responding to customer comments, it also put the expected response time at the top of the Twitter page, updated every five minutes to show that the company was listening to customers. Customers who know their voices can be heard are more willing to provide information and may even be more polite when complaints are inevitable.
As social media has developed, so has enthusiasm for the new marketing channel, which has been widely seen as a sales boost. However, a recent survey of 427 U.S. marketers found that 80 percent could not quantify the value of their social media marketing practices. In a survey of Fortune 500 companies, 87 per cent of chief marketing officers (COMPANIES) admitted they could not prove that social media brought in new customers.Our research helps explain why marketers are frustrated with the use of social media - they're doing the wrong thing.Using advertising to aid social media marketing practices can improve ROI and create opportunities to connect with the most loyal customers.
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