Being Unliked Is Not the End of the World (Unless You Are Talking about Facebook’s Ad Revenues)
Data from a new report [pdf] from Exact Target and CoTweet called “The Social Break-up” show that a consumer’s decision to “unlike” a company has surprisingly little impact on the perceived likelihood that they will buy from that company in the future.
In total, 63% of consumers said they were as likely or more likely to purchase something from a company after ending their Facebook relationship. Another 18% said they only “unlike” a company if they never bought anything in the first place.
Is It Worth Investing in Social Media or Not?
This data point adds to the complex and multi-layered picture of Facebook and social media. Namely, there is a growing sense that it may not be worthwhile for some brands to invest all that heavily in these channels. Earlier data from a study by Edison Research last year on Twitter usage comes to similar conclusions. The Edison study doesn’t discount the popularity of Twitter – in fact it reports that 87% of respondents have heard of Twitter, compared to 88% who had heard of Facebook. The findings also suggest that Twitter users are hyper-aware of brands on Twitter.
The study found that 42% learn about products and services via Twitter and 41% provide opinions about products/services. An additional 19% seek customer support. A grand total of 49% follow brands or companies.
Here is the rub however: the data also suggests that Twitter users do not necessarily convert brand awareness to usage, Social Media Today says. Although 87% of Americans have heard of Twitter – only 7% actually use it. Compare that to Facebook, where 88% have heard of it, and 41% have a profile, which is a conversion rate approaching 50%, Social Media Today notes.
Clearly some companies belong on Twitter – namely brands that are seeking to shape consumers’ opinions and possibly engage them in a conversation. And just as clearly, some don’t.
Some thoughts on the latter:
Mass-market brands with straightforward products. Gillette is a good example, according to Fast Company. Brands such as Gillette that are positioned based on functionality superiority are not likely to benefit from a social campaign, a study by Vivaldi-Lightspeed found.
In that study, 96% of respondents in the study tout Gillette’s good quality and reliability. At that point, Gillette should take that goodwill and run, the study goes on to say. “Conversation might lead to a discussion of downsides such as price and alternative products,” says Markus Zinnbauer, a director Vivaldi. (via Fast Company).
Small businesses that don’t have a significant online or social media presence. That group is far larger than one might realize, according to a Citigroup study. Most small businesses today aren’t leveraging the basic online tools readily available to them to help grow their businesses, the study found. Namely, in the last year 37% of small businesses have not used a website for marketing or expanding their business and 84% have not used e-commerce to sell their products or services. Additionally, 62% aren’t using basic email for marketing their business. Before such a company jumps on the Twitter bandwagon it would be far better off to master these fundamental online marketing tools – particularly email marketing.
Companies that don’t have a mobile strategy or presence. There is a strong tie between social media and mobile, according to the Edison study, which found that 63% of Twitter users said they accessed social networks via mobile phone, and 73% sent SMS text messages multiple times per day.