Social media marketing is overrated. It seems like something a pessimistic and cynical person would say who cannot quite work out how to run a successful facebook ad.
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But what if the statement is in fact not to be quickly categorised as one from a misinformed sceptic? It would seem as though social media is the recipient of praise and admiration from most people who are considering marketing. The opportunity of reaching millions of people has been heavily romanticised, particularly to those who have a smaller budget they are willing and able to invest into marketing. But when you stop and think about it, how many campaigns really go viral? Furthermore, how many low budget campaigns go viral?
Mark Riston has a unique perspective on traditional vs digital media that left me thinking, is social media marketing worth the hype? Throughout my business degree there has been a significant emphasis surrounding digital marketing and how imperative it is to master it in order to captivate a potentially global audience.
Because I spend an obscene amount of my time on social media platforms, particularly Youtube and Instagram, I am sold this tale quite easily. I am exposed to ads all day long and due to algorithms that are becoming increasingly more intelligent, I am seeing content that I am interested in. I am being tempted by products and services that I have a genuine curiosity for and sometimes even desire. But no matter how much I believed in social media marketing it was not enough to impede me from considering an alternative perspective.
Recently a story captured my attention that I found particularly interesting and perhaps corroborates Ristons critical stance on social media. Arii, an Instagram influencer with 2.6 million followers took to Instagram to share her disappointment of her inability to sell the MQO of 36 t-shirts required for the launch of the apparel label.
It is shocking that an influencer with a following of this size is unable to sell 36 t-shirts, and leaves many wondering whether the “instagram bubble is bursting”.
It’s difficult to decipher what factors are responsible for this epic fail. There has been enormous speculation that this is shedding the light on just how little influence these “influencers” have on consumers purchase decisions. It raises the point that your followers are not your customers. And having an abundance of them does not translate to having an abundance of people eager to purchase from you.
It also is an important message to marketers to be cautious when considering whether or not working with an influencer is going to lead to a high ROI. This incident has caused widespread speculation that perhaps the practise of influencers buying their followers is more prevalent than previously imagined.
It also reinforces how imperative it is to conduct due diligence when it comes to choosing what influencer will promote your brand. When you compare Arii’s aesthetic to the product she was advertising, it is not difficult to see how her followers were not inclined to purchase it. This of course is true for both digital and traditional media, but it is interesting to note anyway, as one of the benefits commonly cited for digital marketing is how wide spread it is with the power to reach millions of people. This is a perfect example that reminds us that although this could be great for brand awareness, it is not necessarily guaranteed to have any impact on conversions.
And so it would seem that although it is commonly said that traditional marketing is dying, at least marketers can feel safe that they are not being deceived or taking a superfluous risk when pursing this avenue as they may when are dabbling in digital marketing.
What do you think? Do you think there are high risks associated with digital marketing? Do you believe that traditional marketing is dead? Leave your comments below!