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Facebook, Twitter Fail to Promote Brands: Offline Works Better

Facebook, Twitter Fail to Promote Brands: Offline Works Better

There’s no doubt marketers and brand managers are spending lots of human and real capital to leverage the power of Social Sites, especially Facebook and Twitter. But does it do them any good? Meaning, do consumers promote brands via Social Media regardless of how hard those brands try to get in front of consumers?

eMarketer says very clearly that 57.8 % of US Facebook users had not mentioned a brand in their status updates as of October 2011. reports the same figures in its summary.

This has to be disappointing to all those companies and corporations counting on the powerful social network sites to power their brand to more recognition.

Conversely, if no bad news is good news, companies may be heartened by the report that just 0.5% of Facebook users posted negative mentions about a brand.

Typically, when mentioned at all, brand mentions were positive ( 25.3%) or with a mix of positive and negative, 16.4%.

Furthermore, marketing company ATYM noted that offline channels like TV, radio and print were the ways “consumers discovered new brands, products and services. Word-of-mouth and physical stores also played a role.”

What about Twitter’s impact on brand recognition?

Interestingly, Twitter users mirror those of Facebook relative to brand mentions.

Could be they’re the same users, but 61.3% of Twitter users say they have not mentioned a brand in their Tweets; 25.4% said they mentioned brands in a positive way, if at all, while a scant 0.4% said they Tweeted negative comments.

So, how are consumers learning about brands?

Same old, same old: TV, radio print and other offline sources (16%); word-of-mouth (14%); online media like blogs, web sites (9%) and trailing on down to shopping sites, social media sites (Facebook and Twitter), online advertising.

What’s the takeaway?

Consumers and brands are definitely interacting on social networks, and brand managers are getting more involved. But for now the challenge is not just to participate in social media, but to get the consumers to actually recognize these brands and start talking about them. That’s the tough part.



About Kaleel


  1. You’re looking at the hole instead of the donuts. It’s a failure that “only” 43% of the 800 million people on Facebook have mentioned a brand, and usually positively? And each time they mention a brand, their approximately 130 “friends” see that mention? That’s billions of positive brand impressions. Not too shabby. (How many people are commenting on TV or in print about brands in response to their promotions? Those are not interactive media, so the answer would be 0.)

    But that’s just the start. By getting people to Like them on Facebook, Twitter, etc., brands are able to put an almost free message (usually the only cost is staff time) in front of those people daily, or even several times a day. In traditional advertising these are called impressions, but then some of those people interact back by Liking or Commenting on the brand’s post. Major brands have millions, or tens of millions of followers. Even a small company, like the Coccadotts Cake Shop in Albany, NY, can have daily interactions with 10,000+ people. This is a conversation — a word that did not exist in marketing 10 years ago.

    The real measure of what marketing professionals think of the effectiveness of the various media for not just brand building but actual sales is where they’re putting their dollars. TV spending is up, online marketing (including social media) is way up, and print is way down.

    Louis Gudema
    Vice President of Business Development
    Overdrive Interactive

    • Just had a chance to read your response, Louie. I think you make some good points with solid reasoning.

      I would say its a case of the glass being “half full or half empty.”

      Is 48% what was expected? How can we know the multiplier affect of a brand being mentioned, and implied here is “if mentioned at all,” 48%…arguably a vague and ambiguous statement.

      But I take your point. Thanks for writing in



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