Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Social media metrics: sales v brand building

I was discussing the role of social media with a colleague. We veering from social media being a channel for engagement, retention and loyalty to how social should deliver something to the bottom line.

We kinda netted out at 'it depends' [as Neville Hobson would say].

For campaigns today, social can't hide behind the catch all of 'brand building' objectives. It has to show how it can have an impact on the business/organisation. This could be retention or it could be acquisition.

On Facebook etc you see both types of strategies e.g. multiple friend get friend sweepstakes to bring in new fans; apps that reward current fans with social and economic incentives.

Our discussion then moved onto how effective it is to give away deals and bargains via social and how brand building fits in.

My argument was that you can't discount or offer bargains unless you have built value into the brand or product. The nature of a bargain is getting something of high value at a low price. Discounting something of low value is never as appealing. e.g. 50% off a Barbour jacket is much more appealing than 50% off a high street kagoul.

Therefore, not matter what the channel, you need to spend time and effort building up the value of a brand before you can make it a bargain.

Therefore, social media, like any other channel, has a role to play in both objectives and metrics should be defined accordingly.