Focal about Social?
Social Media and social media marketing are the order of the day. Are you thinking about it as well? We wanted to put some perspective behind it, by comparing it with all the other main channels of online marketing.
Social media is different – it is new and it is still evolving. While traditional online channels could be compared along the dimensions of risk, targeting and monetising models, social media does not really fit in very well. The differences between an affiliate sending traffic to you compared to you buying traffic from Google on these dimensions are below:
1. Risk – Who bears the risk of conversion – the risk of conversion sits with the affiliate alone as in the latter case, Google gets paid on a click
2. Targeting – How well is a user identified as a potential buyer – Similar in both cases- A user clicks a button for more information and writes out a keyword for more information
3. Commercials – What is the payment for the advertising based upon – Payment is based on competitive bidding, but in both cases, there is an element of earning per click which comes into play by the volume provider.
Social media fails to fit into such a model except as an over-simplification. The reasons for this are the same as the reasons for its popularity. Social media is -
- Free in form – blogs, tweets, posts, discussions, status messages… (and pokes)
- Free in channel and media – the web and the phone converge here – text, images, videos, maps and mashups are all equally acceptable
- Free to edit, create, contribute, destroy – Yes, of course you can. Of all things, even an encyclopaedia is freely editable (but in a social manner)
- Free of control – In the traditional sense, yes. There is no one owner. There can not be. It won't be social any more.
Very important for a marketer – Free to engage and influence – The customer is present, directly and without any intervening chatter. You can chat him up – one on one – like never before. He can single you out (for good or for bad)
Search engine advertising was the magical new boy in college – strange at first but a well behaved person who lived by the rules, albeit new ones. You had to learn his language and customs and he became your best friend and did magical new things for you. Social media advertising is the brash new rock star – everyone wants to be with her but no one really knows how to tame her.