By adaptive - January 7th, 2015

Reaching consumers via social media means understanding how their social activity is just one component of shopping behaviour.

According to a new report from Forrester that quizzed nearly 5,000 US adults about how they searched for information about goods and services, organic search came out on top with Facebook in second place. Traditional searched polled 36% of the vote with Facebook securing 25% with TV ads coming in bronze position with 23%.


The fact that super spenders still use organic search is clearly a continuing trend that has been seen for several years. Indeed, the habit of initially using organic search has become a habit that is hard to break. The years your corporation has spent honing its SEO skills have not been wasted.
Social media though, is fast catching up with organic search as Forrester’s research clearly reveals. Facebook is king, but Twitter is also popular with super spenders with 20% of this group using it to find product and service information.
For corporate marketers how their business’ customers find them and their products or services is now more complex than it has ever been. When Google reined supreme, focusing on organic search was a fairly straightforward exercise. Enter social media and the rules of engagement changed. Now your corporation has to manage multiple consumer touch points. Which of the social channels should your business priorities?

Facebook factor

To reach the super spenders in your corporation’s market sector will clearly means evolving how your business uses Facebook. According to Simply Measured, almost all of the top 100 global brands have a presence on Facebook with over 90% posting to their timeline at least once a week. The 100 companies on the Interbrand list have amassed a collective 1.1 billion fans, 77% of the Interbrand companies on Facebook have audiences of greater than a million fans and 16% of brands on the list have more than 20 million fans.
The average audience size for an Interbrand 100 Facebook page is 12 million.  The top five brands by audience have an average of 79.7 million fans each. And the fan page for Facebook unsurprisingly has the largest audience of any Interbrand 100 company, with over 164 million fans. While the Interbrand Top Global Brands have an average of 12 million followers, top performers skew this average. Others have as few as 17,335 fans.
Simply Measured conclude: “Developing a Facebook strategy that suits your brand takes time, patience, and a thorough understanding of your audience. MTV has found success by posting an average of 150 times per week, other brands have found that their audience doesn’t respond well to heavy frequency. The example shown by successful Interbrand companies speaks to the importance of a customized and audience-centric presence.”
DataPop and Kenshoo in their report into social commerce also said: “As the social commerce space becomes more established, more social shopping sites will enter the space, additional advertising and organic features will be rolled out, and analytics will increase in sophistication. 
“Pinterest has already launched an advertising product, Promoted Pins, and will continue to roll it out more broadly in 2015. In the meantime, Polyvore, Wanelo and Pinterest are all working on enhancing their analytics suites. Retailers who get a head start in launching social commerce programs will not only reap the benefits of the existing features this holiday season, but will also be more prepared for the exciting opportunities to come in 2015.”

Social ads

The use of social ads is also set to increase across 2015. According to the latest figures from Invesp, ad revenues will reach $15 billion by 2018. And mobile ad spend will move from $1.5 billion today to $7.6 billion by 2018, nearly a 40% increase. These numbers may seem impressive, but it is still a fact that 1 out of 4 US corporations spend nothing on social media ads.
This state of affairs will of course change, but social media ad spend is still learning the rules of engagement. All of the leading social media networks have or are rapidly developing their own ad platforms. For corporate marketers this will mean a richer and more diverse range of options when deciding where to spend their ad budgets.
Laura Ruszkowski, marketing research analyst at Kenshoo also noted: “Not only has the Facebook ecosystem shifted but so have marketers’ approaches and programmes to reflect the changing environment. By driving efficiencies and optimisations in their paid social programmes, marketers have become more sophisticated and their strategies more vigorous, thus increasing overall competition within Facebook advertising and, in turn, upping the worth of Facebook users.”
To reach the super spenders requires a multifaceted approach to marketing. Social media is clearly a core element of today’s successful marketing campaigns, but corporate marketers must develop their understanding of consumer behaviour that hasn’t shifted wholesale to social media. Of course social media is vital to all marketing messages today, but a more holistic approach to reaching your business’ super spenders will deliver high levels of ROI and lasting customer engagement.
Social Media Ad Spending  Statistics and Trends
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