Social Media Myth BustingLast week’s Social Media Club Sydney (#smcsyd) was all about rectifying those common misconceptions about Social Media – A topic that in my opinion needs some recognition.

Speakers at this event were, Julian Cole & Grace Gordon Both of which had some mixed views about Social Media is generally perceived in Australia.

Great Speakers

The first speaker, Julian, admitted he had a negative approach to how Social Media was currently used in AU, the point that grabbed my attention was that “Twitter has a lower reach.”, “Most brands only have following of 1 or 2000”, “& That even a highly engaging tweet may only get a CTR of 1-4% at the very best”.

Some people in the audience found these stats hard to swallow, but the sad fact is that Australia is a tiny market, and although we may be delivering an innovative approach to Social, it’s pales an insignificance to the shear population US & UK markets. [For the record, the AU online market is approx 8% of the US…]

The second speaker Grace, from SOAP, pointed out specific Facebook myths (8 in total I think), my favourite being… “Facebook is not an all-in-one solution digital marketing.” If you know me well you’d know that the main reason why I liked this comment was the fact that Grace clearly stated marketers should not neglect other digital channels, like SEO or EDM’s, before participating in Social.

I personally believe the hype around Social Media’s growth in recent times has actually manufactured a sense of ignorance towards other high ROI digital channels such as EDM’s, PPC & SEO – I.e. I get the sense that people sometimes think Social IS THE ANSWER to everything just because its the most “human” of all the digi’s! When in actual fact I feel that Social can be integrated into each of these mediums in a more integrated solution to marketing.

Even though the Social market is small, I believe it’s a high converting digital channel. With that in mind I would invest in it, but not without evaluating and comparing its effectiveness, in terms of ROI, against other digital channels. As Grace quite rightly said, Social Media is not an all in one solution to digital marketing.

Ranking The Digital Channels in terms of ROI

I asked #smcsyd (@jyemsith) the question, “Where would you rank social media, in terms of ROI effectiveness, out of all the digital channels?” – Here’s what I think in terms of return on investment:

1. PPC
2. SEO
3. EDM
4. Affiliate Marketing
5. Social Media Marketing
6. Display

Why is Social in 5th? It’s still in its infancy; it’s only really been around in its modern format for the past 2 years. With that in mind, we are just beginning to learn how to use it or rather learn how not to use it. Also, the other marketing channels have much better ROI model, with PPC & Affiliate Marketing you can easily work out your estimated return. SEO & EDM’s are both big traffic drivers, and if done correctly they can convert very highly too.

A brand that does well in this in the “digital space” is a brand that can integrate all the channels available in a way that can help leverage results. For example, using Social Media to support SEO or even PPC to support Social Media. As I mentioned at the very start, integration is something I have pushed for a long time and is definitely not something I plan on stopping anytime soon.