The truth about social media

Candice O'Sullivan
October 29, 2012

“Is Twitter the biggest failure of an online brand or just a cute niche service for a few vertical markets?”

That’s just one of the questions raised by a new YouTube video challenging the true value of social media channels. The video reveals some startling statistics about social media use. It also dares to make some bold propositions, including that social media is making us “intellectually lazy”.

A creation of Malcolm Auld and his team from Sydney agency, mad, the video challenges us to consider the real value of social media campaigns before investing in them. After all, “the majority of social media posts never get seen, let alone read.”

So what home truths did I take away from mad’s viral ‘masterpiece’?

  1. Don’t abandon social media; just be realistic about what it can (and cannot) do for your product/service
  2. If you choose to use social media, invest well (i.e. use it well and don’t forget to test; reviewing data and analytics will only ever serve you well)
  3. Digital marketing is no different from any other kind of marketing. A new technology/channel is not an excuse to forget what has been working in marketing for the last hundred years!
  4. Don’t rely on self-proclaimed social media experts. In the words of Stan Rapp (‘the godfather of Direct Marketing’): “There’s no such thing as a digital agency because it’s a technology.” First and foremost, work with people and agencies that understand your product and its positioning, your strategic objectives and your audience/s –– then worry about channels and creative.

By Candice O’Sullivan, Director and Head of Strategy at Wellmark. You can find Candice on Google+ at +Candice O’Sullivan.

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