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No Twitter marketing ‘revolution’ yet

Paul McIntyre (via AFR) | July 8, 2013
Analysis out last week shows just how overcooked the social media platform is when the hubris from social media marketing gurus and journalists is stripped back to bare facts.

No Twitter marketing ‘revolution’ yet
There is a fair chance companies and brands will get better at doing social media such as Twitter.

So, you think Twitter is changing the old-world order? You'd so far be wrong. Analysis out last week shows just how overcooked the social media platform is when the hubris from social media marketing gurus and journalists is stripped back to bare facts.

What is not in question here is the ability for platforms such as Twitter to disseminate news, information and opinion fast. But with so many beating the drums over Twitter, it actually seems a whole lot more powerful than it is. Much of the misconception is because media types are disproportionately enamoured by the platform versus the masses. The vast majority are not even signed up, let alone tweeting. There's a little over 2 million Twitter users in Australia, and while its growth is bumping along nicely, it's hardly the 12 million users that Facebook boasts here.

More crucially, in the $30 billion Australian marketing industry, Twitter is one of those emerging digital platforms that the digital gurus say will, or is, creating a revolution in how companies spruik their products and services and get the masses to do likewise through deeper "engagement" and "conversations" and "advocacy" with brands.

It's been a mantra for a couple of years now but consider this: in the June quarter, the average number of "active" tweeters around brands and companies was just 2.7 per cent of Twitter's total Australian user base. That's an inverted revolution, which means there isn't one. The analysis from online social media research start-up Shareablee cuts right across the perceptions of social media becoming the great conduit for brands to talk and interact directly with punters and flick conventional media.

PEOPLE WANT TO 'GET A DISCOUNT'
To be the bearer of bad news for marketing and PR trendsetters, most people don't care about a relationship or even an interaction with brands.

To cite another statistic from ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam, the main reason people interact with companies on social sites is to "get a discount". Not because they like them and maybe even love them. No, it's to get a cheaper price.

There's an emerging chorus of voices beginning to question the blind enthusiasm proffered by the digerati on the disruption that social media is bringing to conventional marketing. So they should. The amount of attention being given to the new social frontier as a marketing revolution is way ahead of reality. No question people are using Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter in new and interesting ways, but to assume there is a utopian desire for them to want to engage with brands with more affection than what they're already doing in the unfashionable main media is fanciful.

 

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