Brands might be overdoing it on social media
- Temple University's Fox School of Business released a study on social media that found that brands and consumers have different views about how the marketing channel should be used. Though there are short-term benefits to social marketing, many consumers find that brands overdo it with too many posts sent at busy times, the study cited by Campaign found.
- However, the study was very limited, according to its authors, who noted that the data was based on one CPG company's advertising to Chinese customers via WeChat. The research saw a 5% increase in sales after a post on the social media platform, but also a 300% drop in followers, meaning they'd lost consumers they had already captured.
- Social efforts should be highly nuanced, Jeff Nicholson, CMO at the agency VaynerMedia, told Campaign, and brands need to take into account the target audience demographic and how the product or service plays into the social platform on which the campaign takes place.
While any research based on such a limited sample size should be taken with a grain of salt, Temple University's findings are sound in reinforcing that brands should consider the long-term effects of when and how frequently they push their messaging on social channels. As digital platforms and their algorithms change at a pace that can be difficult and time-intensive to keep track of, it can be easy for businesses and publishers to lose sight of broader goals. The study found that engagement dropped the most during commuting hours and among consumers in major cities, meaning people who are already stressed and looking to social media to relax are not likely to engage with a brand's ad.
Overall, consumers don't mind engaging with a brand on social media, as long as the content is relevant to them and served on a platform and in a tone that they're open to receiving. Every audience is different — every consumer is different — so marketers would be well served to take the time to run tests to discover how their social media followers react to posts of different kinds and at different times of the day. Do they engage with video content? Do they comment more often at certain times of the day? Do they unfollow if posts become too frequent?
Brands are still experimenting with how best to use social media as part of their marketing mix. Though the platforms continue to evolve, and consumers' habits are shifting, social media is certainly a channel that marketers can't avoid, with platforms like Facebook commanding a vast share of the digital ad market and Snapchat eating up elusive young consumers like Gen Z's time.