Unilever, P & G and Kraft are companies that own some of the “most social” brands on the market. However, according to a new study, most social campaigns are short-lived, low budget and still can not quantify their impact on sales, market share or any other financial metrics.
The report, written by marketing information services company Warc, argues that markets must apply to their social campaigns the same seriousness and rigor in their planning, budgeting and measurement that they already apply to their more traditional campaigns. And yet, metrics would be difficult to quantify on most occasions.
The study has analyzed more than 800 campaigns containing some element of social media and has found that, although its presence has increased significantly and quickly, its participation has been in “small scale, short duration and absence in the test of Its commercial effectiveness”.
The study, titled “Seriously Social”, analyzes campaigns with and without social media elements that have won awards and prizes at most of the major international contests, including Cannes and the Effies. As a whole, campaigns that included social media activity were of shorter duration and smaller budgets. For example, campaigns with social media accounted for 44% of campaigns with budgets of $ 500,000 or less, but only 28% of the first prizes were won by social campaigns with a budget of $ 500,000 or less .
The study also found that examples of independent social media campaigns, deployed commercially and without integration with other media such as TV, print or other channels, were truly exceptional cases.
The report argues that the use of social media by brands should not lack the same ambition or rigor as the present in traditional campaigns. Examples of campaigns analyzed have been American Express, Kraft, Wal-Mart, Audi, At & T and Virgin Mbile. The report points out that companies need to take their social media activity more seriously and enforce high standards of planning, strategy and evaluation in social media campaigns.
“Social Media may not always be the most appropriate option for each situation, but if companies want to get more value from their investments in this field, it needs to be taken into account much more seriously.”
Based on the analysis of the most effective campaigns, the report notes that success in social media often depends on facing four major challenges
1. Adopt a social media mindset: this point requires planners and other teams to understand what kind of content is going to work with the audience, and how they should get hold of that content.
2.- Socially articulate ideas and brands: The best campaigns are built around a clear and clean idea. But it is also necessary that companies allow users to add their content and their voices to those of the campaign, so that this initial idea can reach a true social expression.
2.- To facilitate proportional enlargement: Companies need to review the budgets of the campaigns, their duration and their integration, in order to ensure that all this allows to reach the full benefits of social activity. The best companies can be distinguished by their commitment to a rigorous evaluation of social programs.
4. Include key elements such as storytelling, calls for participation or breaking certain schemes, often pushing a campaign toward success. However, much more important is that brands work with those elements they already know contribute normally to the participation of their audience, rather than adopting a rigid creative formula.