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.
Hotelmarketing.com 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.