Even though digital marketing is constantly changing at the speed of sound, we’re now able to dive deeper into studies to understand how brands are affected by social media interactions – particularly “likes” and “follows”. It’s important to zero in on the cause and consequence of social engagement. A recent study on Facebook advertising did just that; and the results could have a huge impact on how resources are allocated in social media. The study looked at endorsing and engaging brands on Facebook.
It found that organic engagement (following and liking) was not enough to have any impact on buying behaviors because the endorsement of a “like” did not carry the same weight as a real-world recommendation. Yet when a “like” indicated real-world use or interaction, the likelihood of that transfer of trust increased and buying behaviors shifted. Connecting the digital and real world made a big difference.
In fact, just getting past Facebook’s algorithms put businesses at a distinct disadvantage to being seen at all. Cue in good ole’ fashion advertising. A repeat of the study found that the same group of people who experienced ads from a brand on these social platforms were more likely to take action associated with that brand. A combination of push and pull marketing is needed to garner the behavior sought.
Measuring the effectiveness of social channels is still tricky and ultimately comes down to understanding why you’re utilizing the social platform in the first place. Is it to create a forum for customer feedback and conversation; build brand awareness; extend the reach of educational content; or further engage an already invested client base? Once you answer that question, you’ll be able to identify what measurements dictate success.
When you want to reinvent your social plan – get focused.