Why use social media for your brand and can we measure effectiveness?

The UK total advertising industry spend has been increasing post 2008 financial crisis, more importantly, digital marketing has been growing at a phenomenal rate! Digital marketing has accounted for a large portion of media spend with 2019 expected to be as large as 66%. eMarketer predicts that digital advertising spend could exceed £20bn by 2023.

At the same time, average phone use time is on the rise, RescueTime app found that on average users spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone with the top 20% of users exceeding 4.5 hours of daily screen time. The average user picked up their phone 58 times a day! Brands are equating this to an incredible marketing opportunity and clearly are trying to make the most of it.

Why Social Media Marketing is useful

The growing importance of social media marketing mirrors the growing digital usage population. A study conducted by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial revealed that there are 5.1bn unique mobile phone users in the world, and that 66% are active social media users. This explains the growing trend towards using social media as a marketing tool to connect to consumers.

The effectiveness of social media marking can depend heavily on the channel used, the customer profile for each individual business and business objectives. For instance, does your target customer profile equate to young corporate professionals? LinkedIn may be the right channel in this particular case. In the digital era we live in today, is your target audience connected and engaged with a particular celebrity? The rise of influencers and podcasters could be a highly attractive social media medium to invest in, due to their strong engagement and connection with followers and listeners.

This all raises the question of measurement, what should be tracked, over what time period and can traditional techniques and dashboards be applied to a new and unknown channel.

The challenge to marketeers

With any growing trend in the world of media, not trailing behind is of paramount importance. For social advertising the challenges range from publishing content which has to be approved by the ASA, to tying social investment to business rather than marketing goals. For instance, a campaign on Facebook may have worked excellently from a marketing managers perspective. If there is a record number of likes and clicks though this may not transpire as a success to a CMO or FD who would be more interest in sales generated directly from the campaign for it to be a commercial success.

Marketeers biggest challenge is measurement of social media activity and the impact it has on the business. One challenge shared by both analytics experts such as Brightblue and brands is that data extracted from platforms can be poor and unreliable, data definitions are not always clear, meaning that data can be interpreted in many different ways. Several social media publishing platforms have poor built in measurement tools and when brands search for help from different business, there is an inconsistency in the analytical approach making different pieces of research difficult to compare to extract commercial actionable insight.

Social media could be right for you!

Despite the challenges social media marketing poses, over half of marketers said that the investment in social media marketing has helped them to increase traffic to their brand, as a result harvesting consumer demand and bringing those to a point of sale. Benefits from activity also include increased exposure and engagement as markets are able to communicate with users, they may have not been able to target with traditional media such as TV or radio. Social has been observed to generate leads and develop fanbase. As this grows with the brand, consumers can be kept in close visibility and informed of brand activities, offering a valuable relationship building environment.

In conclusion customers are actively seeking out brands they like or are interested in and increasing numbers of users are taking to social media to research or make buying decisions. Depending on business objectives, social media best use may be to develop that customer relationship rather than a direct sales performing channel. It has valuable community building opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else, being almost a perfect channel to nurture and focus on customer relations.

At Brightblue we have an excellent measurement technique to analyse the impact of social media activity on your business. Our method has been by recognised by the IPA for excellence leading us to partner with the them among a few other agencies to create a best practice case study on how to measure social media marketing (#IPASocialWorks). Our methodology will be able to produce business insights, commercial value and recommendations on how to proceed with social media advertising.

Brightblue Consulting are a London based consultancy which help businesses drive incremental profit from their data. We provide predictive analytics that enable clients to make informed decisions based on data and industry knowledge. Through Market Mix Modelling, a strand of Econometrics, Brightblue has a proven track record showing a 30% improvement in marketing Return on Investment for clients’ spend. If you are interested to find out more please contact us through email by clicking here and one of our consultants will get back to you shortly.

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