Social Media vs. The Website
Should Brands Cultivate Customer Relationships on Social Media or The Website?
Social Media Budgets On The Rise
Forty-six percent of B2B and B2C businesses leaders plan to increase social media budgets in 2014, according to a report by Strong View.
In light of the growth in social, the investment may seem well-placed.
However, marketers are all to often leaving customer relationships to be controlled by a platform they do not own, and cannot control. The investment made by brands will benefit the social platform more than the brand, unless the relationship between owned and earned media assets is strategically planned and managed.
As I emphasize in seminars and workshops I deliver on various topics related to social media and brand marketing; Go ahead, be social – just don’t forget to invite your audiences “home”.
Facebook is Not Your Friend
Nor is any other platform, for that matter. Each social media platform is an independent businesses with expenses and demand from shareholders and stakeholders to deliver a return on investments made in the platform on which marketers have grown accustomed to promoting brands.
Terms of Service and guidelines for promotions, contests and interaction on each platform limit brand creativity and control. Social media is effective in generating awareness and buzz. Read more in “A Wake up Call for Brands” blog post on my website: RebeccaMurtagh.com
Social Platform Rules
When presenting to social media and digital marketing professionals, when I ask how many have ever read, or recently read the TOS (terms of service) of Facebook; zero to one percent of hands go up. An alarming percentage of marketers are not aware that Facebook assumes a non-exclusive license to all content posted on the platform. In other words, they can use whatever brands post on the platform for their own purposes. There are many more considerations. I highly encourage brands to read and evaluate guidelines of each social platform they will engage on.
Benefits of the Ultimate Brand Destination: The Website
When the nuts and bolts of a campaign reside on the website, performance is tracked more easily, the visitor is exposed to the brand in its own “habitat”, and insights generated by data are much more comprehensive than those provided by social platforms. Brands can build lists, communicate directly, cultivate intelligence from data generated by user experiences, conversions and other behaviors to optimize planning.
Possession is 9/10ths of Law
If possession truly is 9/10ths of the law, why would brands leave customers on social media platforms or other environments? The brand is better served when they leverage platforms to drive traffic to the website – where they have complete control over the user experience and the ability to establish one-to-one relationships with customers.
ROI From Social Media
The return on investment in social media will require a path to conversion. Conversion mechanisms are limited on social platforms. After all, a “like” or “follower” does not impact the bottom line unless you can move fans, connections, customers and influencers along predetermined, optimized, paths to conversion.
As you might expect, this topic is covered in greater detail in my book Million Dollar Websites.