Campus Industries - The Unhealthy Obsession With Social Media ‘Likes’ - Campus Industries
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‘Too many social campaigns are small, short-term and lack proof of ROI’ (Seriously Social)

Social media (SM) is now an established marketing platform that almost every single brand in the world has tried to conquer. However, the majority of brands on Facebook are still yet to make any kind of impact and more importantly, struggling to measure ROI. The majority of SM campaigns are measured on likes and shares but how valuable is a like? Most brands assume that a higher quantity of likes will automatically increase the engagement on their page. This is getting dangerously similar to the world of mass email marketing, quantity over quality. This leads to a very untargeted, and often unsuccessful, marketing campaign. This approach will lead to a % decrease in engagement and consumer generated content, as the brand will not necessarily be targeting their desired target audience.

Another problem is that due to SM being a free tool to target consumers, campaigns are more short term and lack investment. The report from marketing information service Warc argues that marketers need to apply the same seriousness to planning, budgeting and measuring campaigns with a social media element as they do to more traditional campaigns: “This short-termism and low-budget approach is failing to help quantify the impact on sales, market share or other financial metrics. However, this is despite metrics remaining hard to quantify in many cases.” (Gordon MacMillan) The Seriously Social report looked at almost 800 case studies of campaigns that contained an SM element and found that the usage of SM has grown rapidly, yet the work being done is often “small-scale, short-term and lacking quantified proof of their commercial effectiveness”.

The report argues that brands’ “usage of social media does not need to lack either ambition or rigour.” The campaigns looked at included work by American Express, Kraft, Wal-Mart, Audi, AT&T and Virgin Mobile. The report concluded that marketers need to become more serious about their SM activity and enforce higher standards of planning, strategy and evaluation. It noted: “Growth in the usage of social media has outpaced growth in objective understanding of how to use it effectively for communications.” It is time to bridge the knowledge gap – SM might not always be the right choice for every context. In order for marketers to extract more value from their investments in this field, it is time for SM to be taken more seriously.

In conclusion, brands should be taking SM marketing a lot more seriously, getting expert advice and be willing to invest in longer-term projects. Research and knowledge is always key to the success of a campaign but in the ever-changing world of the student market, it’s even more essential to seek the advice of experts who understand the market inside out. Campus Industries run a variety of SM pages and we are responsible for engaging with over 330,000 consumers. So if you want to target the youth market or are simply toying with the idea, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as we offer unique and tailored consultations and would be happy to help.


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