Often times social media consultants say “Trust me. This stuff works. I know it works.” And some of the time they are right. The problem is that they don’t know how to articulate why and how social media marketing works.
The Problem with Justifying Social Media
The problem with trying to measure social media marketing is that unless you invest a lot of time in an assessment, you will never be able to fully quantify the impact. I worked at P&G for many years. To measure the effectiveness of traditional marketing we invested in focus groups and quantitative testing that would allow us to predict the impact of an ad, and we invested in expensive studies that showed how the various elements of our marketing contributed to sales.
The reality was that quantifying these things was difficult. Many aspects of marketing have a lasting impact over time (I will talk about this more later).
The reality is that most people don’t see or hear an ad and immediate take action. I don’t run to a store to buy Tide after watching a TV commercial, or drive to my nearest car dealership after hearing a radio ad.
Yet, when it comes to social media we are holding the measurement bar to the immediate action that we are able to generate. The reality is that social media isn’t always the best direct response tool, and it actually drives value in a variety of different ways that generate results over time.
We are holding digital to a different standard, and as a result, we are not getting a clear picture of the actual value of social media.
The Answers Lie in Human Psychology
I read a lot of books on psychology, because understanding people is at the core to effective marketing.
As we look at how people work, and what drives them, there are some key insights that explain why social media works.
The reality is that people like and trust things more the more often they see them. This is actually scientifically proven. If you meet two people, and you have the same impression, over time, if you start to see one of those people more, even if the interactions are not positive, you will start to like that person more.
We like people and things more the more that we are exposed to them.
Think about it. When you go to a store you don’t want to buy the random brand that you have never heard of (it might suck). Even if you haven’t tried another brand before, if you have heard about it multiple times you are more likely to buy it.
The Rule of 7 Brings Psychology to Marketing
Marketers often say that you have to have 7 interactions with someone before they will choose to purchase from you.
Social media can help increase the # of impressions or interactions that people have with your brand, and as a result, they are more likely to choose to do business with you, when the time arises.
The key is to trust the underlying science and know that over time, the more people who are exposed to you or your business, the more they will like you and the more likely they are to do business with you.
This isn’t just my opinion.
It is a scientific fact.
The Next Time You Have to Justify Social Media……
Many people who have experience in social media marketing know that it works, but can’t exactly explain why. Hopefully this post helps add clarity to WHY social media marketing works (or at least one of the reasons).
Even if they are no immediate clicks, we know that the more people see us, the more they will like us. We also know that people do business with people they like.
This is why I invest time on sites like LinkedIn, Slideshare and Facebook. Even if I don’t get immediate business, I know that the more that people see my brand and my name the more likely they are to do business with me (as long as the interaction isn’t negative).