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Social or Anti-Social?

Social or Anti- Social?


I read with interest today that Facebook have admitted that over 8.2 million of their registered users are potentially bogus! It reminded me of the fact that marketers face the same old challenges, just with new media. Most marketers have embraced new media as part of an online strategy, they are already savvy and insist on audiences being qualified and will insist of seeing audits for B2B media for example,  but how do we qualify new media and ensure that there is no wastage?  

A new poll bears out this concern... 62 per cent of firms are concerned by difficulties measuring ROI in newer media. 

The survey was carried out in the US during April and May by the country's Association of National Advertisers (ANA), such anxieties are pretty common. As the use of new media flourishes, so do the concerns!  

The poll of 224 client-side marketers showed plenty of emphasis being placed on social media: 96 per cent used Facebook in their marketing efforts, 89 per cent utilised Twitter, 49 per cent LinkedIn and 33 per cent Pinterest.

Marketers are also increasingly tapping into the world of mobile too, with 70 per cent turning to branded apps, while 67 per cent were using quick response codes and 53 per cent opted for text ads as well. 

Yet 62 per cent of respondents nonetheless voiced worries about calculating return on investment (ROI) from these new media, while 53 per cent also identified a lack of knowledge about digital media among their firm's employees more generally.  

The metrics marketers found most useful for measuring the effectiveness of new media advertising were sales and time spent on companies' websites, whereas they found little value in popular metrics such as being 'liked' on Facebook or 'retweeted' on Twitter.

 ANA president and chief executive officer Bob Liodice commented: "Platforms offering the most tangible ROI will be favoured by marketers moving forward.

 "It is imperative for the industry to standardise measurement practices for digital, social and mobile markets."

 Lack of ROI measurement 'holding industry back'

 Nichole Goodyear, the co-executive director of the Social Media Advertising Committee, also expressed concern over the lack of common standards for ROI measurement, asserting that this issue was "preventing the industry from going forward".

 Speaking to Econsultancy, she explained that marketers appreciated the value of social networks, but were unable to quantify this value using traditional methods of measuring traditional, paid and earned media.

 Ms Goodyear warned that there was a discrepancy between the popularity of social media and the share of advertising budgets they receive and that determining ROI was the key to reducing this disparity.

 For some companies, I believe there has been a blind faith placed on new media as a B2B online marketing approach, now it is time to take stock and decide whether this is delivering value for money and helping companies achieve their strategic goals. The click-through rate has long been used a metric but does it really matter?  Facebook's click-through-rate in five major territories grew by 11 per cent over the past quarter, new figures show.

While new figures from TBG Digital indicate that ad engagement through Facebook has risen, it still appears to fare poorly on this front compared to Google, for example.

According to one Facebook executive, CTR doesn’t really matter!

TBG Digital's report indicated that Facebook CTR across five major territories grew by 11 per cent during the second quarter - following on from a six per cent dip over the previous three months - reaching 0.037 per cent in the US and 0.032 per cent in the UK.

It partly attributed this growth to the launch of Facebook's mobile ad targeting feature, which it said helped to explain a growth of 31 per cent in US CTR between May and June alone.

Other contributing factors were a seven per cent rise in social impressions, as well as a general improvement in targeting techniques and ad creative.

Meanwhile, growth in cost per click (CPC) slowed to nine per cent across the five territories, with CPC rising by 13 per cent to $1.04 in the US but falling by two per cent to $0.91 in the UK.

However, if your firm is simply seeking to increase its CTR, it would probably be far better served focusing its marketing strategy on Google.

A report published by Wordstream back in May indicated that CTR for Google ads was almost ten times as high as for their Facebook counterparts and that - depending on the targeting techniques used - Google could deliver CTR up to 36 times as high as Facebook's.

Yet Andy Pang, Facebook's head of customer marketing insights for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, believes this emphasis on CTR is missing the point entirely.

He told delegates at the Facebook Marketing 2012 event this month that that marketing on the social network should instead focus on the less easily quantifiable impacts of reach, resonance and reaction.

Is this what you want Facebook and other social networks to deliver to your company? Or do you think your marketing spend should be directed towards opportunities that do prove hard ROI?

My view is hardly ground-breaking – don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

There has been a surge of focus and budget applied to social media, but now as things settle down, review budgets across the whole media landscape and ensure you allocate budget to help optimize platforms and systems that help you actually measure and make sense of your true ROI. That seems to be a more social approach!