Companies and individuals continue to explore how best to capitalize on the opportunities of social media. Many sources provide research to help toward those ends. One of them is Technorati Media. Established over a decade ago, Technorati Media has produced a steady stream of research reports and ideas concerning the ongoing development of social media.
In its “2013 Digital Influence Report,” several interesting observations are made. The report affirms 60% of brand marketers predict about a 40% increase in social-media-related advertising. The fact these companies plan to spend more money in social media is a positive, given its ongoing growth and influence. Upon a deeper inspection though, one might question exactly how effectively those funds are being deployed. The report clarifies:
“Within their social budget, more than half goes to Facebook, followed by YouTube and Twitter, with the remaining 11 percent of their social spend going to blogs and influencers. Though blogs and influencers don’t get a large portion of brands’ digital spend, they rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence.”
That is the problem. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are outstanding vehicles in social media. To say anything less would be foolish. Nevertheless, many consumers turn to blogs as influential information sources when they are making purchase decisions. The report summarizes the disconnect:
“In short, where brands are spending is not fully aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value and being influenced.”
A very valid, if frustrating, reason exists for this disconnect. The blogger world is extremely vast, nonstandardized, and fragmented. It is lacking any consolidated overarching metrics system to which marketers can go. Therefore, it becomes easier to spend on the known vehicles rather than attempting to spend money on the fragmented, vast, and unmeasured world of the blogosphere. They are simply not included in the more conventional metrics of social media, and thus they become easy to ignore. This occurs more than likely to everyone’s detriment. The report gives more detail:
“At present, brands primarily look to comScore/Nielsen ranking for identifying and selecting influencers first, yet influencers are not well represented in these indices. Furthermore, when gauging the success of campaigns, where influencers are monitoring traffic/page views, brand marketers are measuring Facebook likes.”
This will be a fascinating situation to observe. It seems to me the well-informed marketer will do more to assess all the opportunities in social media. Although the big names such as Facebook are important, seeking out at least a sliver of the massive blogger world as a marketing enhancement may be very profitable.