Inside LiNC'16: Nate Elliott and the “Social Marketing Paradox”
@nate_elliott kicked off his breakout session at #LiNC16 last week with a pretty bold statement: “The rise of social has fundamentally changed advertising as we know it.” The only problem is, he continued, “Brands aren’t sure if their social marketing efforts are effective.”
And therein lies what Elliott calls the “Social Marketing Paradox.” Brands know they need to be actively a part of the social ecosystem – because that’s where more and more people are flocking every day – but they just aren’t sure if all of their hard word and effort is actually paying off. Especially given that engagement can be as low as 0.01%! Though, Elliott underscored that “engagement is the primary goal.” Brands want to build a new kind of relationship with their customers, and they are looking to social as the place where that can happen (even amidst dropping engagement rates across all of the big social networks).
To overcome this hurdle, Elliott explained that brands need to put the right social marketing tools in place to help streamline and optimize their social efforts as much as possible. Long gone are the “post and pray” days when brands could simply throw something up into their social channels in hopes that organic traffic would follow. Today, people’s attention spans are being pulled in every direction. So marketers need to become much savvier at understanding what their customers want and when they are likely going to be most receptive to brand messages. This is where powerful social marketing tools come into play.
So what should marketers look for in these tools? Here’s Elliott’s advice:
- They must offer functionality not available on social networks (scheduling posts in advance or cross-posting across various networks)
- They must save time and effort (organic targeting, post tagging, accessibility via mobile apps)
- They must mitigate security and risk (the ability to manage permissions and create review-and-approval on posts before being published)
- They must help brands perform better (optimizing for trending audience topics, time of day analysis)
To wrap things up, Elliott explained that brands aren’t leveraging their communities to their full potential. They need to get in the mindset of not only publishing great content that engages their customers, but also, and more importantly, responding to their wants, needs, and expectations in real-time. Doing so, as Elliott put it, will move us away from counting “likes” and “share” as our primary engagement metrics and, instead, get us to focus on measuring “clicks” and “conversions” – more clear indicators of just how successful our social marketing efforts truly are.
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