By Chris Miller
SHAKER HEIGHTS — So, what the heck is social media really worth? What sort of return on investment are we talking about here?
Some days, it seems that everyone is liking, sharing, commenting, retweeting, favorite-ing and pinning. On one hand, it’s easy to wonder if it’s worth it to have a social media presence. On the other hand, it’s also easy to wonder if we’re missing out if we don’t actively pursue having a social presence.
What this stuff is worth is also a question that digital media and social media pros wrestle with. Most brands that have staked out a social space are working on either creating a direct response of some sort, or brand awareness. All other strategic goals being equal, I’ve had much more success using social media for direct response than for brand awareness, although the latter can be done.
Back in September, you may have seen a piece from me calling social media your “frequent flyer” program. This week, I had a chance to hear a research presentation that confirmed that with some dramatic numbers.
While web analytics usually concern only data, a major media and entertainment company set out to study the people who were engaging with them in social media. The bad news confirmed what we in radio already know: the number of social media followers we have can be tiny when compared to the total of all our listeners. In the case of this study, a mere 1% of the consumers of this company’s content were following it on Facebook.
The good news: that 1% of the users was responsible for 8% of the brand usage. Think about that for a minute! Doing a great job with your social media could end up positively affecting much more listening than we ever realized. Even if you assumed a more conservative 1-to-5 ratio instead of 1-to-8, that’s still some serious leverage.
What if you could boost that 1% of your cume to 2% or 3% following you in social media? Would you find it valuable to have a behind-the-scenes relationship with the folks who give you 10% or 15% of your listening?
When I was a PD, what I wouldn’t have given to have a special back channel to my station’s heaviest users!
There are companies outside radio who are learning how to use social media to leverage the power of their most valuable customers. One day, some smart radio group is going to figure out that social media is not just more broadcasting in a different medium. Neither is it just a matter of getting likes, shares and comments.
While most mass marketing involves some form of trolling for cume, this is different. This is like the sales department taking its 10 biggest clients on a cruise. It’s core-casting.
Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media. He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org