Some useful insight into what is and isn’t working in Facebook and Twitter marketing

If you’re planning or evaluating any form of social media activity, then it’s worth taking a look at eMarketer’s summary of a recently released research report examining which marketing uses of Facebook and Twitter are working best.

As shown in the table above, top of the effectiveness list for consumer-focused marketers (the B2C column) using Facebook is ‘Creation of a Facebook application around a brand’ – providing a useful reminder that the most effective use of social media doesn’t always come for free . Next in the ranking is the creation of a ‘Fan’ survey, followed by the use of Facebook user data to provide insight into customers.

Down at the bottom of the Facebook effectiveness list lies ‘Targeted cost per click ads’ – which makes sense, as I haven’t heard many Facebook advertising success stories (although there are exceptions – such as last year’s Scouts volunteer recruitment activity).

If Twitter’s more your thing, then there is also a summary of the effectiveness of Twitter tactics…

In this case, the most effective uses relate to reputation management – with number one being real-time monitoring of PR problems, followed by using it to engage with those behind such negative PR.

Bottom of the list is the use of Twitter to drive direct sales. Although again there are some noteable exceptions to this including, at the very top-end, Dell who claim to have achieved over $6.5m in revenue through Twitter over the last two years. Mind you, @DellOutlet does boast over 1.5 million Followers now! In terms of non-profits making Twitter fundraising work, take a look at Blame Drews Cancer and the ever growing Twestival movement.


5 thoughts on “Some useful insight into what is and isn’t working in Facebook and Twitter marketing

  1. This is interesting Bryan – we have just had great success in using Facebook advertising – paid for by cost per impression – to recruit our alumni on Facebook to our Facebook group. We got 1500 more members over 9 days. And our own website stats show that referrals from Facebook to our website went up by 2200% during the time we ran the campaign, compared to the same period last year, taking it from generating 0.3% of website visits to nearly 5%.

    I’d count that as a success and I think it worked because we were asking people to do the easiest possible thing on Facebook – just join the group and let us know they were interested in us. I’m convinced that Facebook and social media marketing in general needs to focus on securing the ‘noncomittal gesture of support’ – if you can get that, then you can follow up with other media that are better placed for securing actual commitments….

    1. Hi Adrian, thanks for sharing the details of your Facebook campaign. I think you’re right that the best use of such ads is to offer a low involvement engagement opportunity to a targeted audience as the first step in a journey towards any form of fundraising activity.

      Where I’ve seen particularly bad results is when organisations have tried to use them for a one-step direct financial ask.

      If any readers have seen such an approach work then do share the details.

  2. Some great data and fully tracks with my experiences @BullyingUK Organic marketing is much more successful than the PPC adverts in Facebook. Interesting to read number two on that list, “Friending from corporate profiles” I assume we are talking profiles setup in the name of a brand rather than a Fan Page?

    Always assumed that was a breach of the TandC’s not that it stops brands doing it anyway πŸ™‚ and I would even recommend it to charities as well, it’s effective for building relationships.

    Awesome data πŸ˜‰


  3. I’ve seen centrepoint advertising their sponsor a room product all over facebook – I’d love to know how successful this has been; although they have also been using full page press ads as well.

    Anyone from centrepoint care to share?


  4. One thing that I notice about both B2B and B2C lists is that the range of respondents does not vary very widely, from 22% to 40% in the first case and 24% to 46% in the second (twitter), and 24% to 37%, 27% to 41% (facebook).

    The conclusion, i think, is that the method of use and its consequent success is still very much organisation dependant.

    It would be interesting to see a comparator survey of uses of both social media by non-profits and their respective success rates.

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