Editor’s Note: The CMO Survey for February 2018 generated 362 responses from top U.S. marketers at for-profit companies and is administered twice a year. Included below is one slide from the 2018 Highlights and Insights report.
The table covers ten criteria for using social media, with brand awareness/building most frequently mentioned.
Engagement Labs conducted research on some 500 brands going back to the mid-2015, calculating scores in each marketing area. It was found that some have disparate impact—performing well either on social media or word-of-mouth offline marketing, but not both. The report labels those marketers “social misfits.” For example, brands such as Palmolive, Corona, and Aveeno, tallied the greatest disparity—some of the highest offline word-of-mouth marketing results but low social media-online scores. Conversely, RCA, PayPal, and SunTrust garnered some of the highest social media/online scores—but the worst word-of-mouth offline numbers.
Among media brands, TNT earned the top offline word-of-mouth marketing score at 65, but a low 38 number for social media.
From an A-list celebrity tagging his new designer duds on Instagram to your next-door neighbor raving about her favorite new meal-delivery service on Facebook, most everyone uses social media to talk about brands.
But how different generations of people create, consume, and share this type of user-generated content varies widely. To help marketers better understand the divide, earned content platform Olapic conducted a survey to find out how consumers of different ages—especially millennials and baby boomers—view UGC.
While their responses varied, one thing was widely agreed upon: “76 percent of consumers believe the content that average people share is more honest than advertising from brands,” said Olapic co-founder Pau Sabria. “That should serve as a wake-up call for brands to start exploring the use of authentic content in ads and marketing to build trust and create a more meaningful dialogue with their customers.”
The rise of social media over the past decade has not only changed the way people communicate, it has undoubtedly also had an impact on how they shop, be it online or at a boutique around the corner.
Before making a purchase, consumers now have the chance to scroll through thousands of product photos on Instagram or Pinterest, look for promotions on a retailer’s Facebook page or scroll through comments in a brand’s Twitter feed.
According to PwC’s Total Retail 2016, a global survey of nearly 23,000 people, 78% of consumers are influenced by social media when shopping online. The following chart sums up in which ways social media affects online shopping behavior.
The findings, which are derived from AP’s interviews of more than 300 agency and marketer executives, found that most of those budgets are either going into “sharing networks” or being bought “programmatically.”
The report also finds the vast majority of social media spending by brands is not focused on so-called “performance” — advertising intended to generate an immediate action — but on building “brand awareness.”
Only 38% of respondents said they were utilizing social media to generate “offline sales.”
A December 2015 Journal of Advertising Research article by Tania Yuki, Founder/CEO of Shareablee, analyzes which psychological drivers might increase the likelihood of social sharing of brand content on Facebook. She feels that such sharing is an indication of genuine interest and advocacy by those consumers, and that the shared content is valuable to the development of brand equity. Yuki believes that few brand marketers fully realize the value of consumers sharing brand content on Facebook. To the author’s knowledge, there has been limited research on what actually makes content shareable and on the psychological drivers that prompt sharing.
Yuki’s methodology involved replicating an earlier framework that outlined ways to increase virality of content. The author tracked the 2,000 most-shared social posts over a 12-month period on Facebook and then surveyed more than 10,000 social-media users about what might drive them to share that content online.
This paper concluded:
-there are clear psychological drivers that affect sharing of brand content on Facebook: social currency, emotion, usefulness, and content that tells a story.
-these drivers vary by users’ age and gender as well as by brand category.
-these differences should inform the ways in which marketers craft their social content to inspire their audiences to share their content and, thereby, generate word-of-mouth and earned media recognition.
Brand marketers who understand the significant drivers of shareable content can use these insights to develop their social content and to design their posting strategy on social media channels.
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The Media Rating Council (MRC) has issued an official set of social media measurement guidelines. In conjunction with the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the MRC has released an in-depth 40-page document, which outlines common practices.
Also participating in the development of these guidelines were social media vendors, publishers, measurement organizations, ad servers and ad networks. In addition, the guidelines were reviewed by buyer-side trade organizations.
According to this article in Media Life Magazine, these guidelines cover methods used for measuring a number of types of social activity, including tracking and counting users accessing content within social media, interaction and/or engagement with social media content,
and consumer “listening” and sentiment. The guidelines also cover the measurement of user-generated content and video.
The article includes these excerpts from the guidelines:
“In order for a user-action to be considered part of social media audience activity it should be trackable/measurable (publicly or privately), fall within the campaign time period (for campaign level or advertising counting) or defined measurement period and include all valid traffic.”
“Examples of trackable/measurable user-action may include interaction (clicks, shares, retweets, likes, favorites, etc.) with social media content, application downloads or social shares from a brand website to social media platforms.”
The Media Life article also provides a direct link to the guidelines.
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The 2015 Warc Prize for Social Strategy is a competition that challenges marketers to demonstrate how effectively they had used social media in their marketing efforts. In this September 2015 article in the Journal of Advertising Research, Gian M. Fulgoni, co-founder and chairman emeritus of comScore, shares the insights he gained as a judge when he reviewed the finalist case studies submitted by companies worldwide in competition for the Warc Prize for Social Strategy.
Fulgoni commented on his experiences:
“As a judge, I was struck by the creative use of social media and the positive impact it had on many business results. My thoughts can be crystalized into five dimensions—what I call the “Five S’s of Social Marketing”:
-Social as a Supplement to media spend
-Social as a Substitute for media spend
-Social as a Savior
-Social as a Soft Metric of effectiveness
-Social as a Sales Driver.”
The author also discusses the details of some of the winning campaigns from this competition: Coca-Cola, ‘Share-a-Coke US’; Oscar Mayer, ‘Wake Up and Smell the Bacon’; and Chobani Yogurt: ‘#PlainInspiring’.
The case studies for the 2015 Prize for Social Strategy demonstrate that social media has become central to the marketing efforts of many brands and organizations, according to Fulgoni. He also discusses the challenge of isolating and measuring the business results of social media campaigns for both organic and paid forms of social media.
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