If that’s your immediate reaction to the headline above, you’ve probably succumbed to what’s been deemed: the social media sophomore slump.
OpenClose’s free ebook, Avoiding the Social Media Sophomore Slump, defines it as a malaise or weariness that can fall upon marketers who’ve run social media campaigns.
“Many marketers have spent the past two years immersed in learning social media, then selling it first to the boardroom, then finally to the public,” says Frank Bocchino, who wrote the book and is vice-president at OpenClose. “But even if you knocked the ball out of the park, you’re likely weary, and your enthusiasm has been replaced with information overload, more work, and demotivation, while the world is hungry for what’s next.”
He adds: “The good news is, if you’re a social media marketing executive questioning your motives, then you’re actually ahead of the game, and the slump can be avoided.”
ComScore Inc., along with Facebook, offers a follow-on look at the value of social media with a free online book, The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works. It focuses more intensely on how to measure results from this channel.
“Social media continues to emerge as an important marketing channel, and major brand marketers are devoting more time and attention to understanding its impact on consumers,” says Andrew Lipsman, comScore vice-president of industry analysis. “While marketers understand the importance of a channel that now accounts for one in every seven minutes spent online, many are challenged to quantify its effectiveness.”
For example, the book says, brands can maximize the impact of their social marketing programs by leveraging a framework that helps them move beyond fan acquisition to delivering reach, impact, and measurable marketing return on investment. This includes benchmarking and measuring:
• Fan reach, or exposure in the news feed.
• Engagement, or fans interacting with brand page marketing content.
• Amplification, or viral delivery of marketing content from fans to friends of fans.
This sounds like more work. Probably. But help is available for a price—more on that later. First, another point about marketing malaise:
“Television advertisements direct viewers to the advertiser’s Facebook page, rather than a website. Billboards promote Twitter handles more prominently than telephone numbers. Social networks provide an interactive connection with consumers with which few other media can compete,” Mercator Advisory Group says in an introduction to its recent research.
Here comes the “however”: “Social platforms inherently provide financial institutions with the ability to connect with current and potential consumers, to provide alerts and information quickly to account holders, and to distribute company news and updates directly to a massive audience,” says Dave Kaminsky, senior analyst at Mercator. “However, the current state of financial institutions’ engagement with customers over social media can best be described as one of high potential that has yet to be reached, and the onus for change falls on the shoulders of the financial institutions.”
This is when the cavalry—in the form of third-party providers—come riding to the rescue, or at least profess it. Here are a couple of recent riders:
• WebMediaBrands unveiled PageData, which can provide daily metrics for millions of Facebook pages, including the number of “likes” and the number of “people talking about this,” going back to 2009.
• Attensity now offers a “real-time, semantically annotated social media data stream.” Called the Attensity Pipeline, it “collects, sorts, and analyzes data from more than 50 million social media and online sources.”
Of course there are others, but you get the gist.
Maybe one source of comfort to bank marketers is that concerns about social media are creeping into other areas of bank C-suites, including the chief executive, thus spreading the pain.
Deloitte, through the Harris Interactive polling group, concludes that perceptions of social media in the workplace vary considerably between management and employees. It found that 41% of executives participating in the study believe social networking helps to build and maintain workplace culture, while only 21% of employees have the same view.
“Our research suggests executives are possibly using social media as a crutch in building workplace culture and appearing accessible to employees,” says Punit Renjen, Deloitte’s chairman of the board. “While business leaders should recognize how people communicate today, particularly Millennials, they must keep in mind the limits of these technologies. The norms for cultivating culture have not changed, and require managers to build trust through face-to-face meetings, live phone calls, and personal messages.”
Compliance officers also have to engage with social media. Just witness ABA’s upcoming telephone/web conference, “Social Media and the UDAAP Impact,” on July 24. This promises to describe the evolution of social media as it impacts all areas of customer interface. It will run through potential unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices, and the risk inherent in social media and how to manage it.
Don’t forget security. This just in from ThreatMetrix: There’s a new variant of the Zeus Trojan that attacks Facebook and other social media pages. It goes like this: A victim innocently goes to what he or she thinks is the Facebook login page and provides a user identification and password. A second, similar page then appears that offers some sort of deal, plus spaces to provide credit card information. It’s all very slick; it’s all very convincing. It’s just the sort of thing that begs for bank customer education in the form of emails, notes, disclaimers, and information.
So, take a deep breath, bank marketers. You’re not alone. Help is available. Time to rehash that Twitter Tag and get back in the game.
Sources used in this article include:
eBook: New Social Media eBook Warns Marketers About the “Sophomore Slump” and How to Avoid It
ComScore and Facebook Release Research Paper “The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works”
U.S. Consumers and Social Media: Revisiting Banking’s Social Influence
WebMediaBrands’ Inside Network Research Launches PageData Pro, Tracking Service for Facebook Pages
Attensity Announces the Attensity Pipeline, Powering Real-Time Social Media Analytics and Engagement for the Enterprise
The Social Divide - Employees, Executives Disagree on the Role of Social Media in Building Workplace Culture: Deloitte Survey
Social Media and the UDAAP Impact
New Strain of Zeus Malware Puts Social Media, Financial Services, Retail, and Payment Processer Industries at High Risk for Cybercrime
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