Social media is all the rage in marketing, with good reason. Just look at the numbers. Can you think of any other communications platform with more than half a billion users like Facebook? Or another forum where more than 90 million messages are posted every day, like Twitter?
As people have flocked to social media, so have marketers. But new research by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research published in eMarketer reveals a surprising fact: The driving force behind social media success is outreach by brand marketers via campaigns in traditional marketing channels.
Here’s what the study showed, and why this insight could be important to your marketing strategy.
What Spurs People to “Like” a Brand?
Why does someone choose to “like” a brand or company on Facebook or follow them on Twitter?
According to DDB and Opinionway, fully 75% of Facebook users surveyed who had “liked” a brand were spurred by the brand marketer to do so via an ad or an invitation. Nearly 60% liked a brand after a friend’s invitation. About half followed brands based on their own research, many as a form of self-expression to show their affiliation with a company they love.
But getting people to “like” you is just the beginning of a social media relationship. The survey also showed that 36% of respondents have unsubscribed from a Facebook fan page. The top reasons: No longer being interested in the brand; information being published too frequently; or information that wasn’t interesting.
6 Takeaways for a Smart Marketing Strategy
Here are six recommendations from these findings to keep in mind when creating your marketing strategy and campaigns:
- Outreach through traditional marketing is essential for creating connections with customers and prospects on social media. If you want to tap the power of social media for customer engagement, you should be deploying marketing campaigns in traditional channels like advertising and direct mail to entice people to your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or other social media sites.
- Direct marketing plays a key role in building social relationships. Making a direct response offer, such as a free gift or premium, a special discount, or a unique experience, in your marketing and advertising campaigns can encourage people to find you on social media sites and stay connected to you once they’re there.
- Facebook and other social media sites should be among your direct response channels. Websites, PURLs, and toll-free phone numbers are still the primary direct marketing response channels, but if your goal is more social media relationships, you should be creating offers you can fulfill via responses to your social media sites.
- People care what their friends think and do, which is what social media is all about. Use marketing to ask social media friends and followers to recommend you to their friends, and reward them for doing it.
- Social media relationships must be nurtured, like all customer relationships. Give friends and followers high value in the form of relevant content, enjoyment, or exclusive access and advantages, and they’ll be eager to hear from you and engage with you.
- Respect your social media followers and friends. It’s far too easy for marketers to view social media as a giant promotion channel. People who really want a relationship with your company or brand expect more. If you let them down, they’ll leave and you may never get them back.