Brands Need To Take Social Media Seriously, Report Says

by Stratton Craig

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Brands need to be more serious about their social media marketing and invest more in planning and measuring their campaigns, according to a new report from marketing information company Warc, called “Seriously Social – a casebook of effectiveness trends in social media campaigns.”
The report looks into almost 800 case studies, with the list of brands featured including Unilever, Coca Cola, Kraft, Audi, American Express, P&G, Wal-Mart and Virgin Mobile. Overall, just over half of all campaigns included a social element, with more than three-quarters of them launched on Facebook, followed by 41% on Twitter and 40% on YouTube.
Warc found that in general, the campaigns that included a social element were shorter in duration, involved lower budgets and were less likely to have a quantified business impact. Of the cases examined, those that included social media elements were most often (44%) found in the lowest media budget category of $500,000 or below. Campaigns with a social component were most frequently deployed in combination with other channels, suggesting that social media outlets are rarely seen as independent commercial platforms.
Commenting on the findings, the authors of the report, Peter Field and Carlos Grande, noted that marketers need to start seeing the creation of content that consumers need or want to share as a priority. Social media campaigns should be serious in terms of planning but need to incorporate appealing elements such as unusual use of celebrities or allowing users to participate. Marketers are encouraged to stop regarding social media as a project and begin using tools to measure their performance on various metrics.

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