In the online marketing world we are all subjugated to study after study, statistic after statistic, in an attempt to analyze every little anomaly and determine how best to plan our marketing efforts. Businesses are impacted by these studies and are forced to adjust facets of their marketing strategy to incorporate the next wave of information. Branding and its evolution in social media are no different.

Part of my job is to research these studies and analyze their impact on our clients and even our own marketing strategy. One of the latest statistical studies is showing the power of social media to brand your business, more specifically the user metrics of Facebook and Twitter, and how they can increase your brand exposure. I find one major flaw in this study which pertains to how small businesses should interpret these statistics.

Now, first and foremost I am not saying social media is a dead end for small businesses when it comes to branding, in fact social media is an excellent way to really connect on a personal level with your consumers. A small business, however, cannot blindly adjust their marketing strategy in a “What is good for the goose is good for the gander” mentality, without looking at its ROI.

Social metrics, when presented dynamically, can easily sway its reader, especially when you see a statistic that reads “xx% of polled Facebook users “liked” a brand page” or “xx% of Twitter users follow a brand”, and those statistics are followed up with “xx% of users polled use social media multiple times a day” or “There are over 800 million Facebook users and 200 million Twitter users”. Any business owner can put 2 and 2 together and figure out that if so many people are in social communities and so many people interact with a brand, then they must dive in like every other business to increase their brand exposure.

What is not spelled out in these statistics is when these polled individuals are asked if they “liked” a brand, name an example of a brand you “liked”. Why is that significant? It is easy to “like” or “fan” Coca-Cola’s brand, they are the single most recognizable brand in the world. Say “Coca-Cola” to anyone anywhere in the world and see if you can find someone who does not know who they are. Now, ask that same person if they know “Peggy’s Flower Shop” in Norfolk, VA, and see what they answer.

The reality is that a person 9 out of 10 times will not know “Peggy’s Flower Shop”, matter of fact 9 out of 10 people polled in Norfolk, VA will not know it either.

The marketing takeaway? As a small business, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. A successful analysis of ROI for your particular business’ social media branding strategy will determine what percentage of investment you should apply. It takes dedicated research and optimal application to increase your brand’s exposure.

Not sure how to increase your brand? Have you been promoting your brand on social media with limited results? Sit down with JASE today and let us help you get started down the right path. As always, please feel free to share this content with your social network.

Brands Of The Worldimage credit: Adam Crowe on flickr

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