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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 18, 2011

Does your social campaign also include conversation? It should.

Click thru rates on Facebook are improving as brands figure out new ways to engage with consumers. But, are CTRs the be-all of social media advertising? According to some social presence means more than placing ads or deal information within a social profile.

by Kristina Knight

While it may be tempting to ask consumers to 'like' your brand, that may not gain positive results. According to ExactTarget while over 90% of US Facebook users are 'liking' brands/statuses each month, those people want some reciprocation. More than half of consumers believe 'liking' a brand should result in their receive extras - discounts, special sales, exclusive deals or promotions. Those who don't 'like' brands have expectations, too. Many (54%) believe 'liking' a brand will result in a bombardment of ads or messages on their page or result in a brand having access to their profile information - and they don't want that.

"Marketers need to be smart and strategic when developing campaigns on Facebook," said Jeff Rohrs, Vice President, ExactTarget Marketing Research and Education Group. "A click of the 'like' button means different things to different people. It creates an opportunity for further engagement, but it is merely one step toward the types of meaningful, cross-channel relationships marketers need to succeed."

Earlier this year, Microsoft Advertising and Advertiser Perceptions asked social marketers what was working in the social space. Most (74%) reported having a 'presence' on social networks like Facebook was important but fewer believed advertising with social media was working. Instead, many.

What isn't working in the social space?

Attack Ads, for one. A new report from WaveMetrix may cause some to proceed with caution into social media. Using an EasyJet parody ad as an example, the report indicates that consumers may not react in a way the brand expects. The UK-based EasyJet campaign parodied British Airways slogan; UK consumers took offense; many jumped to BA's defense while others loudly criticized EasyJet. A similar results were found in campaigns by American Express and Microsoft when they criticized competitors in their ads.

What is working?

Conversation. Offering sale and discount information is good, but savvy social campaigns talk to the customer base. These campaigns offer conversation for the consumer. Sure, the conversation is product-based, but when its authentic - meaning the conversation begins with brand and ends with consumer input - it engages shoppers. So be aware of ways to begin conversations or enter into the conversation to improve the social standing of your brand.

Tags: Advertiser Perceptions, ExactTarget, social marketing, social marketing trends, social media, social networks, WaveMetrix

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