After a wonderful Social Media “Bootcamp” I realise that Social Media and Online marketing do indeed go hand in hand, one cannot manage without the other, especially in South Africa’s market. Often Social Media is too confined a space for a brands entire existence to be within it.
I have spoken before about the difference between drivers and platforms, stating that social media is a platform. I am now starting to rethink this idea, the more it evolves the more it sits as a jack of all trades for marketing though with limitations. Social Media can do wonderful and great things for your business, getting your word out virally, running different promotions etc. but the old question always pops up about measuring ROI over Social Media. How do we measure Return On Investment in social media… simple answer is we don’t. Response On Investment should be the ideal term for social media. The reason i say this is because of the monitoring of social interactions, how often your brand is mentioned, by whom it’s mentioned and to whom it’s mentioned. Your Social Media interactions should be much like pushing the bubble button in a Jacuzzi that turns the water from calm and placid to bubbling and frothy, often creating quite a stir as most of the bubbles you absolutely love but it’s just the odd one or two that are not what you wanted at all and require you to shift a bit.
Consider the Old Spice Campaign as shown in this video on a case study of the campaign by the agency who came up with the campaign.
From this I should hope it is clear the difference between Response On Investment and Return On Investment. The two different measurements can be linked; it is obvious from this case study that the one feeds the other. However you can be guaranteed that not all twitter followers and facebook fans etc. went out and brought the product, now if they are speaking to you already, wouldn’t you want to know? Why not run a personalised mobile site campaign where you take a picture of yourself holding your brand new Old Spice or a woman making her man hold the Old Spice like the man she wants her man to smell like? Alright, that last sentence took a lot out of me, but you get the picture.
To put it simply, we all love a clever campaign; the entertainment value in them can last a very long time, especially with something such as Old Spice. With that type of response to a campaign, you can bet they still have some unconverted people that they are speaking to daily who want so badly to be involved in the brand but do not want to share their wallet with it, not yet at least. Social Media, online and mobile gives us the opportunity to do lifetime campaigns and watch our consumers through their life cycle and communicate with them at different stages… what a great opportunity for the brands who bother to get to know their consumers, such as Old Spice.
The South African market though is slightly different, and unfortunately a response like that to a youtube campaign just is not going to happen as so much of social media’s applications and major benefits gets lost as soon as you go mobile and when you consider there are 15 million people roughly who rely exclusively on mobile to access the internet this is a conundrum to us marketers that needs to be solved. Make no mistake, I am not ditching social media, I have a very intense passion for it, I am just pointing out some of the draw backs.
South Africans have large ego’s hence the social media revolution has taken off in a fairly big way despite arriving slowly, after all we love having our ego’s stroked, even if we can bitch about something and tell our friends how cool it was that the brand listened. Due to this ego of ours I believe marketing needs to be even more personal. I would love a brand i care about to set up a personal site for me, offering me personal specials, ones that actually mean something to me, well mean more than burning paper at least. Social Media and the communities on there are great but sometimes it can feel like people get drowned out in the crowd and you can see this for yourself if you just scroll down a couple of brands pages, take a look at the ones who get disgruntled when they don’t get recognition after posting time and time again. So please brands of South Africa get into my psyche and allow me to talk to you and you talk to me in a significant meaningful manner, and no I do not want to phone a call centre.