With all of the buzz behind social media as a marketing platform these days, I decided to do a little decomp for you. Below are a few key facts that I want you to grasp before reading further:
- Big organizations with the largest and most popular brands are slow to adopt social media as a marketing tactic due to the lack of the ability to accurately quantify an ROI (this is a political decision that occurs at senior levels)
- Any data that you see that points to dollar growth in the social media portion of corporate advertising buckets must be scrutinized: what type of companies are spending in the social media space and do their consumers index high among households that have heave internet usage?
- With the above two points in mind, I encourage you to digest more cautiously any marketing articles that you read on other blogs that evangelize social media marketing…social media marketing is the current bubble in marketing (like the housing bubble was to the economy). Most large brands have not adopted a social media marketing strategy for a reason and not all products have a consumer target that will make social media marketing an effective tactic
With that said, now I will move on. A few years back before social media marketing became popular, the majority of brands, products, and companies leveraged traditional marketing methods: print advertising, TV, radio, etc. Naturally, the amount of advertising noise within the universe of traditional marketing channels was so high that companies needed a new means of marketing to improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and increase their ROIs.
Enter social media marketing: the new method that led to dramatic lifts in sales for the early adopters of this marketing method. Marketers started to evangelize social media marketing effectiveness due to these lifts and as a result, more companies adopted social media marketing as a form of marketing strategy. Now let’s compare two points in time:
- The universe of traditional marketing channels PRE social media marketing: full of messaging noise and over-saturated with advertisments. When advertising, you are competing with both competition and non-competition since the amount of messaging that a consumer can retain is not limited by product type, but rather, limited by sheer capacity to retain.
- The current internet universe that contains social media marketing, which has yet to be fully adopted: less noise due to the slow migration of competitors and non-competitors to fully adopt a social media marketing strategy. It is easier to capture a larger portion of share of voice since it is less saturated with advertisements than the traditional marketing channel.
It is obvious that a large portion of the positive impact that brands and companies realize due to social media marketing is artificially inflated due to the simple fact that consumers are digesting less advertising messaging on the internet then if they were to watch TV, flip through a magazine, etc. Therefore, ultimately it becomes easier for a consumer to keep a brand top of mind since there is less clutter on the internet vs. the over-abundance of messaging that one finds in traditional advertising.
The question that you should now have is this: Will social media marketing always be an effective form of marketing or will the effectiveness decline as more companies begin shifting to a social media focus as this bubble grows? I believe everything happens in cycles…even life. Since everything is cyclical, you should take advantage of traditional advertising once more companies have implemented a social media marketing strategy. Traditional marketing will become an effective advertising method since the internet world will become over-saturated with marketing messaging as companies switch their spend from traditional to social media marketing.