Today we launch the second CONTEXT Social Media Ranking. We cover ICT retailers on four social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ over Q3 2014. At CONTEXT we like to deliver facts. Sales units, selling-price, specifications are our stock-in-trade. So what is it with airy fairy definitions such as likes in Facebook or views in Google+.
When I was speaking to the Managing Director of an Italian company who ranked highly in the social media study, I congratulated him on the number of likes he has on Facebook. He said “I don’t want likes I want buys!”, further stating that his investment in a TV campaign would immediately result in a 2% increase in his market share, whereas he sees no such obvious linkage between his investment in social media and return.
So we come back to the question what is it all about?
If you answer that this is good to do because everybody’s doing it then it sounds like it is just following the herd. That isn’t good enough. Or go to the other extreme, search the Internet for “social media marketing” and find hundreds of companies declaring themselves as specialists in how to build up your social media presence and how to demonstrate that there is a return on investment.
In the end what we are talking about is user engagement. Those who invest in social media are investing in what we can only call “social capital”. In the same way that every company needs capital financing in order to survive, 21st-century companies will need to have “social capital” for the same reason. The clearest example of the direct benefit in social capital is if you look at the influence of user comments. There is an enormous correlation between products which receive high rankings and their sales as users are becoming tuned in listening to what other users say. There is nothing more powerful than knowing that a fellow consumer has bought a product and decided that it is either no good or is excellent. That’s why Amazon’s comments are so important and yet open to abuse. In fact, to counter this, Amazon now writes on particularly strong opinions that they have been “verified by Amazon”.
We are arriving at an age where the most powerful form of marketing is done by individuals themselves and no longer by the big companies. Those retailers who have a series of followers who are trustworthy and who engage with their brand and with the products which they bring to market will be in a better position to survive.
And that’s what it is about in the end – survival.
Register your interest on http://www.contextworld.com/en/context-social-media-ranking and we will send you the full CONTEXT Social Media Ranking study.