Is social media marketing really helping your business?
June 20, 2018

ASAPScience” creates a fun (and scary) video on how social media is affecting your brain!

It seems everyone is getting in on social media, thriving for more likes, more shares, more favourites, more retweets, and more hashtag trends. The list goes on.

But does anyone really know the implications of their social media activity? It’s easy, and nice, to believe that more online interactions mean more business. But that’s not true and few businesses measure or even have liable tools in place for their social media investments. In fact, according to a McKinsey article, only 7% of organizations really understand what’s at stake when it comes to digital investments. Comparatively, a Gallup survey indicated that 62% of U.S. adults using social media say the sites have no influence on their purchasing decision. Five per cent say they have a great deal of influence.


Now that’s not to say that social media isn’t a tool that should be used. Rather, it’s a tool that should be used knowledgeably and with a purpose that is monitored and recorded. Goals should be set appropriately for that. It’s common ground now to argue that, well, social media isn’t about sales, and it’s actually about awareness. It’s about connecting with the customers, and not promotion. We should focus on consumer use of social media, not calculate the return. Frankly, that just doesn’t make a lot of business sense – to evaluate something without a tangible marketplace outcome.

But consider this:

Forrester study revealed that posts from top brands on social media reach just 2% of their followers and only 0.07% of those actually interact with the posts in some way. That means people are more likely to survive a plane crash, summit Mount Everest, or complete NAVY SEAL before clicking a banner ad.

Sure, banner ads were once useful but their success rates fell as firms cluttered up the web with them.

In monitoring efforts, the least is measuring how much the ad has been exposed and seen. But did you know that a display ad is considered “viewable” if even half the ad appears on your screen for at least one second?


Social media

So maybe social media shouldn’t necessarily be used to predict sales but rather the reason for trends and behaviour by pay attention to negative and position online discussions. Some companies have tried to trace links between online platforms and sales outcomes, by trying to track and match Facebook or Twitter IDs. But validity here is still up in the air and privacy and disclosure issues have been raised.

Social media can be a great tool and it can help reach business success. But first, businesses must learn the difference between faulty excitement and the reality of the situation. Then can they come up with an intelligible strategy that makes the most of vast resources at hand.