Research conducted by TNS shows that more time is being spent communicating via social networks such as Facebook and Linked In rather than the most popular method of email . In Latin America, the Middle East and China the average time spent per week on social networking is 5.2 hours, vs. 4 hours on email.
The heaviest users of social networking are in Malaysia (9 hours per week), Russia (8.1 hours per week) and Turkey (7.7 hours per week). Via PR Newswire
Does this mean brands need to step away from email marketing and concentrate on putting together social media campaigns that generate interest and capture the right audience?
This maybe the case but the key to delivering a successful message is researching your target audience and looking at their media habits. Online consumers in mature markets remain more reliant on email, spending 5.1 hours with e-mail and 3.8 hours on social networking. If your brand is traditional and suitable for a mature market – social media may not be the way forward and it could in fact tarnish your brand rather than encourage consumer involvement.
What most companies are forgetting is social media should not be used as a traditional advertising platform but effectively used to communicate with consumers on a neutral level . Organisations jump to leverage the new role of social media without really understanding what they want to achieve with social media marketing. It is often the case that others are doing it so why aren’t we?
Any marketing tactic should always start with business objectives and this again should be the first thought when setting up a social campaign. Defining your objectives is a must – Is it promotion, online reputation management, customer communications? If you can work on the specific social media initiatives your approach will be far more effective than using a ‘let’s jump in feet first approach’.