I gave a talk at a business meeting a few weeks ago where I dared to challenge the fact that Social Media is not the best place to invest marketing funds for quite a few businesses. As you can imagine, the people who are commercialising (is that a word?) that particular bad wagon were not very happy, although they did not have any facts to back up their opinions.
This week New Media Age gives us some details of research carried out by TNS across the globe. The survey showed that 61% of Britons did not want to engage with brands through social media channels. TNS comes to the conclusion that brands have looked at the number of people using social media sites and they have decided to invest money in blogs and Facebook fan pages that never get visited. Marketing teams are rushing online with poorly thought out strategies. The result is a swathe of digital material that is completely wasted because it leaves customers cold.
The survey does show that consumers do comment on brands online, but I bet that they do so on independent blogs or pages. Promotions by brands are well received, but it is not clear of this is particular to social media or is just people wanting to get a better deal. These findings are very much in line with our own practical experience, where most marketing teams operating in social media channels have a poorly thought out approach and very few are gaining any traction. The message seems to be to invest with caution.