Social media marketing: creativity is not enough

By , January 15, 2015

social media channels

Technology has transformed social media marketing into a science. Now, sophisticated algorithms determine impact and success rates of campaigns. Scientifically, content and message can be either subtly or overtly changed on the fly to ensure campaigns gain their highest levels of success possible. Social media marketing is no longer simply about clever creative content – it is now a science, and if the science is lacking from your campaign, your return on investment will be lower.

Simplistically, consumers consume content that resonates with them. Mostly, this happens on a subconscious level, and something as basic as the colour of the dress being worn by the model can dramatically sway a campaign.

Simplicity, however, is not something commonly associated with subconscious processing, which is where technology finds its place. Results from A/B testing, when fed into algorithms, determine not only which dress, for example, will present the best returns, it goes much deeper: information such as a black dress will work on a female audience aged between 25 and 28 years, using Android mobile devices.

Naturally, the queries all stem from creative output – this is always the starting point. Additionally, certain aspects of the campaign, for example, the target audience, need to be defined. Once the basic parameters have been defined, scientific metrics should be overlaid. By using algorithms, hundreds of permutations can be created, and the most effective easily determined.

We set goals and adjust parameters to meet those goals. At the start of a campaign, hundreds of ad permutations will run for a week. Scientifically, we can determine what works, and what doesn’t. Based on data feedback from an algorithmic system, budgets can be shifted to the top performing ad sets, for example, providing extremely targeted outputs. Perhaps more importantly, delivery on key performance indicators can be realised, and clients will see the best possible results for their spend.

Generally speaking, advertising on social media is still considered a game of hit and miss. This mind-set must change, as unlike outdoor advertising, the medium of social media is indepth, dynamic and interactive – and highly measurable. If campaigns cannot be tweaked and adjusted on the fly, money is being wasted.

Facebook campaigns reveal some concerning trends: Of media spend globally, 28% of campaigns utilise one ad only; 80% of campaigns use three or fewer. The difference between this wholly creative, and frankly unevolved approach, is marketers have no idea whether their campaigns could be improved, or if they are attracting the desired audience, as there is no benchmark against which to measure consumer interaction. The clear and measurable efficacy of social media campaigns is a valuable tool for stretched budgets, and by overlaying advanced tech on native tools, marketers can realise extraordinary return on investment, and build tightly-knit communities of brand ambassadors.

Additionally, utilising technology and scientific algorithms eases up a person’s time – instead of spending days analysing the numbers, this can be done in minutes. This means valuable resources can be redeployed to focus on strategy.