Following the phenomenal development of social media, every company and marketers are embracing online social networks and channels as part of their marketing strategy. Almost every company is having a Twitter account, building its own Facebook page and online based fan community… That starts to raise a question “Where is the differentiation between companies” and “Can you actually measure and compare the success of two companies based on the number of the fans?”
You can easily go to a company or brand’s page on Facebook and find out that how many fans, how many Facebook ‘likes’ or how many Tweets they have. But what does 5 000 Facebook ‘Likes’really mean? How would you interpret the number of your fan number to the CEOs, how you transfer and measure the success of that social media channel, your online marketing strategy is a more important question and issue worth considering.
I think it is really vital for companies to find out what they really gain from fans, what global marketers expect from social media and what drives most value for both groups, which in turn have a smart strategy to point out to people what they really gain when becoming fans of brands.
It is inarguable that social media are not only considered as a means of securing additional insight and increasing loyalty but also the opportunity to increase advocacy for the brand. More and more companies are investing and spending more time and money in this area but most of them are still unsure of their return on investment.
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) report identifies that the perceived value that social media is believed to deliver varies among marketers. Of the participating WFA members, 85% regard fan pages as a means of securing additional insight and increasing loyalty, 80% cited the opportunity to increase advocacy (MarketingMag, 2011)
Running fan pages takes more time and money than anticipated and at the end of the day, today’s marketers are measured by how much revenue they bring for the company in per dollar spent , so what they need is a tool to measure the success out of their fans. I think Sentiment analysis – a hot new trend in social media, with the promise of helping brands understand what consumers are thinking and saying about their products, will play an helpful role in giving marketers an alternative way to measure their effectiveness – “tracking how customers feel about and how much they are talking about a brand. All that effort on branding, messages, and color schemes can finally be validated” as the article discussed.(Yared, 2011)
With the advanced development of technologies, digital marketing and online commerce, marketers in Australia should make use of the tools, applications to track and measure marketing spend and effectiveness, get a more tangible result as well as have proactive reaction to either positive or negative online feedbacks.
“Get Satisfaction” is one of the softwares providing simple way to build online communities that enable productive conversations between companies and their customers. More than 48,000 companies use Get Satisfaction to provide a more social support experience, build better products, increase SEO and improve customer loyalty (Get Satisfaction, 2010)
A successful page can deepen both brand equity and customers’ engagement. It should be noted that pages generating the strongest brand response are not necessarily those with the largest number of fans. What should also be paid more attention is Fan expectation of brands in the social media space (MarketingMag, 2011).
Marketers need to regularly add new and interesting content to their fan pages and also listen from their fans, embrace what their fans want to build loyalty among their most important consumers and also to have instant and proactive reaction to the negative comments and what is going wrong.