Marketers who use social media should not simply see it as a numbers game in which the company that can add the most followers wins, recent research has suggested.
ExactTarget carried out a survey and found that in the US, 38 per cent of Facebook users and 43 per cent of those carrying out marketing activity on Twitter were more concerned about the quality of friends and followers than the quantity.
After all, there is little point in having a directory full of people who have pressed ‘like’ or ‘follow’ but will never show any interest in buying what the corresponding firm has to offer. This is particularly relevant for anyone attempting to increase ticket registrations for events, as social media acquaintances will not always translate into audience members or delegates.
Indeed, large numbers of followers could lead to a false sense of security, making organizers assume they will have a full conference or meeting when this might not be the case. This demonstrates the importance of linking social media efforts up with event management software, so lists of attendees can be viewed instantly and return on investment improved.
So, if the point of Twitter and Facebook is not simply to accumulate, what else should marketers be using it for? According to the ExactTarget research, brand awareness and gaining customer insights are two of the most important things.
Around three-quarters of respondents cited brand awareness as their top goal, a finding that was backed up by an Ascend2 poll last month.
This is important because it ensures customers, clients or potential audience members feel valued – and if they feel valued, they are more likely to spend.
The Chief Marketing Officer Council agrees that the prior emphasis on metrics alone is now fading, telling Forbes: “It demonstrates the realization that payoffs from social media are not likely to have a first-order impact on company sales and profits. Instead, social media is likely to have first-order effects in non-purchase behaviors, such as people sharing opinions about companies and brands. This sharing, in turn, creates exposure, builds knowledge, generates attitudes, and ultimately prompts purchase.”
Clearly, focusing on quality over quantity could really pay off for marketers.