Where to spend your social media $$$ first?

It is interesting to see how as an industry matures, its pundits start to become more honest. At this year’s Ad Tech event in Chicago, my one takeaway from all social-media sessions was: “we really don’t know what we are doing“. Previously, there was a overwhelming excitement around the social band-wagon fueled by a handful of viral success stories by some popular CPG brands.

It’s not for everyone“, one agency visionary said in a panel discussion. “You have to look at your demographics“, he said. I raised my hand during the question session and I think at one point the moderator noticed me  but as you know, we all struggle with our attention-span in this age of information-overload.

I would argue that most well known brands already have plenty of consumer generated content (product reviews, rants/ raves) out there and most of it is inherently biased against them.

I think the best use of their social media dollars is to engage in the existing conversations and respond to negative content. This may serve better than taking chances with a viral campaign.

WHY? Because the viral campaigns are the top of the purchase funnel (consideration drivers at best, only if they work) while consumer opinions are consumed on demand, at the bottom of the funnel (preference validation).

EXAMPLE:
Let’s say you are a small electronics brand.

1. Consumer A is just about to click on BUY NOW and is having second thoughts. He/she  googles the product reviews just before clicking on “buy now”.

2. At the same time, Consumer B (probably 14 years old and does not have a credit card) is trying to find skateboarding tricks on You Tube and is most probably never going to consider your product.

Where should you spend you money? It’s a no-brainer. Spend it on PR and opinion management. Do not consider anything else until you post video responses to all videos showing your product not working on You Tube. Odds are, your video responses will have a higher visibility than an expansive viral campaign. That is, without burning your budget on media buys.