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Why you need to be investing more into social media

Helen Booth
Helen Booth

21 November 2011

Brands just aren’t investing enough in Social Media…

I’d be worried if your first response to that isn’t “well she would say that”, because you would be right – I would! As per my last blog post, I hold my hands up to my biased ways, and the product that I am (of the environment that I work in).

However I do meet A LOT of brands – to the point where my specialist subject in any quiz could be ‘The geography of corporate head offices’! (according to my latest klout score I also specialise in Unicorns- all in all not a bad person to have at a quiz…) And it still astonishes me that too many brands still don’t see Social Media as a priority. It’s not just small brands either -we can’t always learn from the big boys

We’re seeing more revenue growth from Social than we are from Search channels – let’s face it, we’re not short of experts telling us that Social is the new Search.

You may be one of the 28% of brands that choose not to indulge in Social Media (eConsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium, October 2011) and don’t get me wrong Social Media is not for everyone ; or you might be part of the 33% that are spending less than £5,000 a year on Social Media or the 29% of companies that do not have anyone in their organisation dedicated to this area (eConsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium, October 2011). But either way, it’s not enough!

There still seems to be some common themes amongst those brave enough to invest a little more; that is, someone very junior works on Social Media, or someone senior doing very little, or adopting a ‘phased’ approach. There are a couple of things I would question with any of those approaches.

For all my sins I used to work in graduate recruitment, and if only I had known the all too common “let’s get a grad in to run our Social Media” philosophy at the time, because I would have cleaned up! No one that junior should be that close to your customers on one isolated platform.

Conversely, anyone too senior working on said platforms is likely to get bored. A phased approach can all too easily get out on hand once you open up the floodgates of Social i.e. viral interaction. Finally that leaves outsourcing it to an agency or an individual but either way it’s not going to come cheap. I’ll also put this to you… a media budget for Social. Consider it.

I often think that the fault lies not with the more junior members within organisations – people who naturally tend to be Social ambassadors – but rather the old hat marketers who struggle to see the value in Social Media as they continue to pump money into channels like TV and Print. Not that those channels aren’t equally lucrative but they are not equally matched with Social Media when it comes to measurability or value for money. I can’t see why such channels still seem like the ‘safer’ option. Social Media IS very measurable:

It can equate to a large percentage of your revenue yet tends to make up a comparable microcosm of overall marketing budgets for the majority of brands. It pays off for brands that have smart ideas and sensible budgets and there are some surprising ones climbing the ranks as our brand love research suggested.

The addition of a new marketing channel to fund is a difficult prospect to stomach but it can be a question of being more efficient with existing channels to put ones buck where one is going to get the most bang. It’s going to be a self fulfilling prophecy if you invest pittance and get pittance back – after all if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, not fans or followers.

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