Social media is not a campaign

25 Sep

Keith Haring

A short but interesting article about the commonly made mistake that social media can serve as a campaign in itself. Guess what, social media still requires – just as any strategy or channel – value propositions, objectives and evaluation.

by Nick Dimitrakiou

A recent study of US marketers by the Direct Marketing Association and COLLOQUYfound that brand awareness was the most popular objective of social media “campaign”. How can this be I ask? For starters, “Social” is not a campaign, it is an ongoing dialogue between a brand and a consumer. Secondly, how can companies expect to build brand affinity without first establishing customer loyalty?

My opinionated attempt to explain:

Think back to the days when marketers referred to word of mouth as the best form of “advertising” a company could ever hope for, yet there were very few ways to prove that positive or negative word of mouth affected brand or impacted the bottom line. Even more puzzling was the fact that marketers had very few ways of touching consumers on a personal level if they needed to remedy a problem, or thank someone for being a loyal supporter.

Today, those same “word of mouth” conversations still take place, except now marketers have an opportunity to see them, understand them, influence them, and most importantly, connect them to individual customers. Never before, have Marketers and Brands had an opportunity to get as close to their customers as they can today, yet so many of them limit their “social efforts” to simply “advertising” to consumers within social forums.

Those who understand the value of today’s social ethos, know that social media is not about a “campaign”. Its not how much money you sink into advertising on social networks, and it’s not about how many leads can be delivered. It’s about making sure your company in sync with its customers – It’s about providing value. When you provide value to consumers you establish trust and loyalty, which lead to brand affinity & awareness. It is only then, when companies can expect to see the fruits of their labor through increased sales, and overall growth etc.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I will say that I do believe its beneficial for Marketers and Brands to “advertise” in social environments, but these efforts should not be looked at a social media, they simply should be looked at as advertising campaigns (which is what they are). And should not be measured any differently than other “campaigns” with specific and measureable KPI’s.

Source: Social media is not a campaign


2 Responses to “Social media is not a campaign”

  1. Nick October 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Social media is a communication channel that can be used to converse with consumers on personal and mass levels, but it can also be used for ‘advertising’ and ‘campaigns’.

    I’m sure there would be a brand or two out there that would suit this, but 99% of organisations could not focus on social media as their sole marketing tool. By supporting existing communication channels (e.g. outdoor, tv, radio, online) with social media, the brand message is able to be reinforced on a personal level.

    What Coca-Cola did in Sydney with their vending machine promotion designed around Foursquare can be labelled a ‘campaign’ ( It’s a promotion with a purpose, using a specific channel to get the message across and drive the entire effort.

    Regarding brand loyalty, I think it takes a significant amount of time invested by the consumer and the brand to establish that sort of relationship. Awareness & affinity must come first. I’m not going to love, recommend or pour $$$ into a brand I don’t know about!

    Social media can be used for a campaign, but its strongest point is the level on which it can connect a consumer to a brand and vice versa.

  2. cure for bv October 19, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    Great post. I appriciate when people take some time to write quality articles.

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