The practice of generating 'buzz' around a product, service or offering is now a well trodden path that many companies choose to follow in the digital space. After all, Facebook, Twitter et al collectively cater to billions of consumers.
However, are businesses doing enough to ensure return on investment (ROI) in campaigns centred on these now critical channels?
Research collated by McKinsey & Company suggested the answer is, perhaps, a no. This is due to the fact that many businesses focus on either encouraging would-be customers to engage with their offerings, or inspire influencers to freely talk about their products.
The real skill - and where the most ROI can be found - includes both.
Social listening will provide better results when the focus is on quality, not quantity.
McKinsey & Company found that the costs of a campaign centred on creating buzz amongst influencers - particularly sector-specific journalists - are justified for the PR department.
The resulting articles and news pieces will typically be well regarded and discussed on social media. Naturally collating hard data to highlight this dialogue is the next step.
That's where effective media analysis comes in. Spending big on a campaign - particularly on social - will always be a risk as there's simply so much competition. However, if there's enough information to back up the endeavour as a success, then there's little reason as to why the company couldn't continue to grow its strategy.
Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to social engagement.
Measuring what matters
Ultimately, too many businesses will look to gain as much data as possible without seeking further insight. The huge scale of today's social landscape means that doing so can be particularly time consuming.
Consequently, social media monitoring is a must, as the right practices can unlock the value of data, rather than merely collect it.
Research collated by comScore noted that quality is more important than quantity. In simple terms, companies should focus on customers that consistently show loyalty to their brands.
Businesses need to assess which areas of their audience are engaged on social, and plan their future strategies accordingly. It's all too easy to get caught up in a world of followers, mentions and shares, but are they actually showing ROI?