Brands Struggle With Social Networks
Pretty much every ad these days has some sort of Twitter or Facebook tie in. This week on the Howard Stern Show you could hear the crew discussing who is “Verified” and who is not, who had how many followers etc. My own company started dedicating space on our Athletes banners and websites to Twitter and Facebook..
So there is no wonder why Twitter and Facebook are some of the fastest growing Social Networks. Brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on promoting their Brand on Facebook and Twitter. Some campaigns are fully dedicated to increasing Facebook “Likes” and engaging with their target consumer.
That really is the beauty of Social Media. Long gone are the days of waiting on data and feedback from focus groups or retailers. You can engage with your consumer and be on a direct one-to-one relationship. This will revolutionize the way products come to market and how brands develop their strategy.
There are a couple things that Brands need to consider. These are not your typical Social Media pitfalls or even typical Social Media thinking. The facts are pretty hard to argue and the solutions are actually fairly inexpensive and the average business owner or executive can run these tools.
The first thing to remember is history has a history of repeating itself. When was the ast time you logged into your Myspace account. Myspace is on it’s proverbial death bed and if it was not for the Music and Entertainment industry it would likely already be dead. What we can learn from Myspace,com is that even Social Media giants can tumble. Social Media has to universe connected and when they move they move in herds.
So what becomes of your Facebook investment when the herd moves? You really not have collected any critical contact data and you cannot be sure that you will be able re-connect with them when you move to the new platform. So will the money spent be totally wasted?
The bigger concern is that Twitter and Facebook are so big that no matter what percentage of the total users you engage with there is a greater number of consumers that your alienating. What I mean by that is studies show that the young consumer and future consumers are turned off my brands in Facebook or Twitter.
According to a new report from Forrester Research;
“just 6 percent of 12-17-year-olds who use the Web desire to be friends with a brand on Facebook, despite the fact that half of this demographic uses the site.”
Among Web-connected 18-24-year-olds, that figure doubles—meaning that 12 percent of that demo feels okay with befriending brands—though the vast majority of young adults are not, per Forrester.
Even scarier for brands: Young people don’t want brands’ friendship, and they think brands should go away.
“Many brands are looking to social media as a strong digital channel to communicate with these consumers, since it’s where 12- to 17-year-olds are spending so much time,” wrote Jacqueline Anderson, Forrester’s Consumer Insights Analyst, who authored the report. “But research shows that it is important to consider more than just consumers’ propensity to use a specific channel. Almost half of 12- to 17-year-olds don’t think brands should have a presence using social tools at all.”
To arrive at these conclusions, Forrester surveyed 4,681 Americans aged 12-17 on the Web in September of last year.
So what should brands do? We have several solutions that we offer our clients. They solve allow of the problems listed above and at the same time tie into these very important Social Communities. We cover over twelve Social Networks and Share services and at the same time we engage directly with the small percent of consumers that want to be involved.
You can also use Social Media as a tool for extracting information. Not necessarily by blind engagements on Twitter or Facebook but by listening. Don’t push your message listen and ask questions. Show the consumer via your products and ad messages that you hear them.
With over 74% of 12-17 year-olds using social networks you can be certain that social networking will continue to be one of the biggest platforms used by your target consumer.