Social Media Marketing: A Comprehensive Data Review

ClearBrand Marketing Podcast

In this ClearBrand Academy Podcast episode:

Social media marketing seems easy, right? We’re all posting on social media, so it seems like a simple transition from personal social media to business social media marketing.

But does it work?

“How many followers do you have?” “How many likes did that post get?”

Are these even the right questions? Not for your business.

In this episode, we look at the data. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We review 14 marketing studies on social media. They span from a study on whether Twitter posts increased TV viewership, to how artists commenting on posts changed how often people listened to their music.

You’ll learn:

  • What the data says works
  • What research shows is a waste of time
  • What impact social media has on business
  • What kinds of posts are helpful
  • If there is a strategy to get results on social media

Here are the studies we reference:

The Good

A TV company’s tweets directly boost viewing, whereas influential retweets increase viewing if the show tweet is informative.

Organic interaction with a Facebook page does not change buying behavior. But paid advertising and boosted social posts do.

The density of social networks (number of comments) has a long-term impact that is about 2.7 times the short-term impact. 60 song plays on average per follower. 1h comment led to 9 song plays.

(1) both traditional (e.g., publicity and press mentions) and social (e.g., blog and online community posts) earned media affect sales; (2) the per-event sales impact of traditional earned media activity is larger than for social earned media; (3) because of the greater frequency of social earned media activity, after adjusting for event frequency, social earned media’s sales elasticity is significantly greater than traditional earned media’s, especially online communities; and (4) social earned media appears to play an important role in driving traditional earned media activity. This may be because earned media attracts people who are more interested in the brand and in purchasing.

Social media use may increase customer ratings and willingness to recommend to friends.

Positive observational learning information significantly increases sales. Negative observational learning has no effect.

Content that evokes awe or anger is more viral than other content.

The Bad

Political activism: picking a side generally causes companies to lose more customers than they gain. If the company is small and they have few customers to lose, they could pick a side and hope to gain more than they lose.

When customers post on social media with your product, it decreases their intent to buy because they’ve virtually signaled their identity. To fight this, find ways to decrease the poster’s association of the post with their identity, For example, posting to get a discount or posting about the use of the product rather than simply having the product.

Social media does not generally impact people’s feelings about your company, it reflects how they already feel. And people seeing their friends like your page doesn’t do much to build trust. Offline recommendations matter much more.

Influencers are generally more trusted than brands on social media. In general, appearing “authentic” boosts sales.

Slow-motion undercuts trust by making the video seem too intentional and staged.

The Ugly

Social media decreases self-esteem.

If people posted real images instead of ideal images, social media would have less of a negative impact.

The Metrics

How to visualize analytics.

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