Brands and agencies looking for pointers on how to implement a successful social media strategy should take a leaf out of Coca-Cola and Nike’s book, according to the digital industry, although the medium still has some way to go in convincing some marketers that it is worthy.
A study of behaviour and attitudes towards social media among 180 agencies and brands by The Internet Advertising Bureau UK reveals that 20% of industry respondents cited Coke as one of three brands “doing social particularly well”, followed by Nike (15%) and Virgin (12%).
There is a big difference between agencies and brands, however, on the most important factors in creating a social successful campaign. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “budget” (14%) led the way among agencies, compared to “engaging content” among brands (28% – over twice that cited by agencies, 13%).
However, the report reveals that nearly 3 in 10 (28%) of industry respondents still do not believe social media plays an important role in the marketing function. Furthermore, just 43% of social campaigns are integrated into the wider marketing function.
In addition, half of brands do not ever measure the ROI of social, while one quarter only do it some of the time. Agencies, on the other hand, are much less likely never to measure ROI (18%) or only do it some of the time (35%).
“Although the use of social has become more sophisticated, it still has a lot of growing up to do in convincing a significant part of the marketing industry that it has an important and beneficial role to play,” said Alex Kozloff, the IAB’s director of marketing and communications. “In terms of marketing disciplines, it’s still a teenager. However, with agencies expecting social budgets to rise 33% and brands expecting a 21% rise, it could enter adulthood within a couple of years.”
When it comes to objectives, social campaigns are most likely to be seen as driving brand awareness (cited by 79% of respondents), followed by brand engagement and web traffic (both 75%). This compares to 70% who regard social as for driving click-throughs and for driving sales (65%).
Engagement is the most used metric (cited by 55%) to measure the overall effectiveness of social campaigns, followed by traffic driven (52%) and click-throughs (45%). Both lead generation and conversions are measured among 40% of respondents.
Kozloff concluded: “Around 45% of social budgets are now allocated to paid campaigns and we expect this to grow as data increasingly drives activity, as has happened in other digital marketing disciplines. Data will enable more interesting things to be done with social – beyond just gathering fans – both in terms of delivering more sophisticated content and then measuring the impact.”
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