Instagram revealed that it has more than 150 million monthly active users, a gain of 128 million since Facebook acquired the app last year. So? Is it really beneficial for marketers to invade an online space for consumers? Conventional marketing thinking says yes, but more and more consumers are turning off brand messages on their personal online space and even Facebook is trying to convince brands that their sponsored posts and ads work. Frankly, too many “social media experts” are doing a good job of grabbing the spotlight, but forgetting that the root objective of all marketing is to convert consumers into customers.
Brands are pouring money into the black hole of digital marketing and expecting big things. What’s more, growing shares report that their companies are making digital marketing and customer engagement a high strategic priority. Nevertheless, there is more work to do: most executives estimate that at best, their companies are one-quarter of the way toward realizing the end-state vision for their digital programs.
While this sounds great I would ask “what about other brand touch points?”. Having a great Facebook page means little if you’re not listening and responding to visitor posts in Internet time. Despite the host of technical challenges in implementing digital, respondents of a McKinsey survey say the success (or failure) of digital programs ultimately relies on organization and leadership, rather than technology considerations. However, I would add something else: the ability to think about what analytics and data actually mean for your brand and organization.
What exactly does it mean if you have 100,000 people who like your Facebook page, but your product is hard to find at retail? Does it really matter that you’re getting a lot of people to follow you on Instagram if your profit margins are eroding?
I’m sick of hearing about social media because there is too much focus on social media and not enough focus on basic customer retention and good people focused marketing. When brands let people down in person they have lost a customer that is very expensive to get back. Focus more on the in person brand experience and less on creating a great social media page and you’ll succeed.
Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on June 8, 2015.