Social media means building on sands
Some key numbers for your digital business are revealing an impressive trend: Social Media isn’t the online traffic provider that we used to know. Depending on the segment of market, companies have lost from 30% to 80% of traffic coming from that “single” source. The situation isn’t critical for traditional companies but digital native ones are starting to feel the bleeding. Yet, that also means that would be a relief for their acquisition costs since they would be able to refocus on what really matters: real-life process to create a sustainable and scalable customer loyalty. But the situation would become more of an issue for large corporate groups that have massively invested in Social Media. How to turn that around?
The type of challenge depends on the amount of budget that has already been poured into Social Media. Since companies with larger amount of budget have generated more economies of scale, they would be hurt the most in the coming months since they need to find out where to acquire traffic to compensate the drying source. That key topic is easily answered: NOWHERE. Why? Because it was from the start only fake traffic. Social Media units have only been acquiring already existing customers or prospects and playing around to try to retain them. It wasn’t their fault. The one to be at fault would be the decision maker who (1) didn’t check how the traffic consolidation was done and (2) did accept to spend money managing a “fake” community out of the company websites and platforms.
The traffic consolidation process is critical to understand how the acquisition costs of redundant visitors are hidden and what level is reasonable. Reasonable because you can’t identify customers only through sessions ID (technical term you should know about). Which means the company has to create a tracking process that generate an amount of undefined visitors that would be labelled duplicates by default. But as the vendors and suppliers are left alone in that task, they tend to not call the undefined visitors duplicates since they can’t be paid for duplicates. And that connects to the next topic of managing a “fake” community on Facebook, Twitter and any other platforms that isn’t owned by the company.
When dealing with community management, you need to identify how to leverage that type of operations: mainly branding, marketing, customer care. Then you need to define what is the action plan to benefit from those operations out of your context. Under that way of thinking, you can easily conclude that you can’t benefit at all. You are paying to get the attention of the visitors (editorial + advertising costs), then to understand how the attention has turned into data (tracking and reporting costs), and eventually what was the volume of traffic that went into any of your visitors’ funnels (again tracking and reporting costs, plus context-based content for that type of source). As you can see, you mostly paid for over-engineering (context-based content, tracking and reporting). With such an amount of cash, you could have done more on the critical parts of your business.