06 April 2011

Are Social Media Adherents Looking for Love In All The Wrong Places?

I am beginning to think so.

A recent piece in eMarketer on Social Media entitled "What Brand Marketers Expect from Social Media Followers" tries to use some research to draw home the point that
"Brands place value on insights and loyalty, not spending"

Here is an excerpt from the article.

"How much is a brand fan worth? It’s a question some social media marketers have been asking for a while, but research suggests many are moving on from the search for a hard number.

According to a July 2010 survey of social media marketers by Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic, the most valuable aspects of social media brand fans go beyond anything with an immediate monetary value. Increased short-term and long-term spend on the brand were the bottom two results.

At the top of the list were the fan’s value as a source of insight and increased loyalty overall. Advocacy and engagement were also important to at least three-quarters of respondents"

Interesting. The conclusions drawn from the study doesn't make much sense to me. Perhaps I am too analytical. In my view this is not the smartest view. While experimentation is good and there are not good metrics in place - that is still not a good enough reason to trust things like the "Like" and "Fan" buttons.

I have said many times before that using the Fan numbers and the assessment of the "Like" button is ignoring the Pavlovian nature of the online consumer.

Time for us to grow up. As Facebook has just shown us with its privacy setting change - they can and will change the game... and frequently.

You have been warned. Look for love and reality in the real places.

Here is a 1979 Ad for Nike.

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