Time to grow up
The shiny allure of social media as something fresh is now firmly in the past.
That was the message delivered by Adobe’s Jeff Jordan last week at the company’s annual Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the early days, Jordan explained, the sexiness of social media covered up the channel’s flaws. It was new and enticing and marketers wanted in, even if the results weren’t there.
“The first time we solved a customer service problem on Twitter, we were heroes,” Jordan said. “It was a slide in every CEO’s deck. High fives all around for social marketers.”
Fast-forward to today, and the blinders have come off. CMOs are now questioning the practice, asking what the value is and what they get out of the time and money they put in. For social marketers, this means it’s high time to start speaking in the language of the CMO, Jordan said, which means conversions, impressions, page views and revenue, not fans, followers and likes.
Jordan listed Cristina Cordova, the manager of community engagement at Sears Holding Corp. who presented with him at the conference, as an example. After about three years with the company, he said Cordova’s social programs have matured to have direct ties to sales. “What’s her goal?” Jordan asks. “It’s to sell more product, more Kenmore washing machines. If the [social] content doesn’t drive that, it doesn’t make the cut.”
The good news for social marketers, Jordan said, is if they can prove their value to the bottom line, as Cordova has, they’ll become more relevant to their company’s broader marketing programs and can take on broader marketing roals.
“The social marketer then goes from being a cost reduction mechanism to a revenue-driver. That’s a big difference in the eyes of the CEO and the people who hand out budget,” he said.
As social matures and social marketers move up the ladder, these skills become a necessity for the c-suite, Jordan said. “A CMO cannot be a CMO today, let alone in five years, without a keen sense of the impact of social on their business,” he said.
LinkedIn for cats
Finally, a place for professional cats to connect. On Tuesday, LinkedIn announced the launch of Cats You May Know, an offshoot social network exclusive for felines. “Cats You May Know was designed to give pawed professionals an opportunity to brand themselves, share their unique skills, and network with both humans and other relevant cats in their breed,” wrote Peter Rusev, project manager at LinkedIn.
Of course, Tuesday was also April Fools’ Day, so we took the launch with a big grain of salt. Like LinkedIn, brands like Fido and Virgin Mobile Canada took to social to spread their April Fools’ Pranks. Here’s Marketing‘s look at the best in brand pranks for 2014.
Facebook testing privacy pop-ups
Meet the privacy dinosaur, Facebook’s new character that explains the ins and outs of its sharing policies. The social network has begun testing new pop-ups that feature the dinosaur in a role reminiscent of Microsoft’s Clippy, offering users tips on how to select the desired privacy level when they share new content. While Facebook hasn’t gone any further than to say it’s constantly testing features that explain privacy to users, some have suggested the new feature is a sign that the company is now taking consumers’ concerns about privacy more seriously.
In Case You Missed It in Marketing:
• Mondelez’s created a one-man Twitter band
• Winnipeg’s is hoping to shine up its image with a new YouTube series
• St. Joesph’s struck a deal with social engagement and analysis firm Engagement Labs
Shareaholic crunched the numbers to see which social network drives the most engaged clicks. The result? YouTube prevailed, showing not only the lowest bounce rate of the top eight, but also the highest time spent on site and highest number of pages visited post click. Here’s a look at the study:
Average time (in seconds) consumers spend on a site following a click from YouTube
Average time (in seconds) consumers spend on a site post-click, by comparison, from the next best performer, Google+
Average pages visited post-click from YouTube. By comparison, Google+ is 2.45 and LinkedIn is 2.23
Bounce rate for consumers visiting a site via a link on YouTube
Bounce rate for Reddit, the worst performer on the top eight for that category