How to make an impact on social media?

Managing Director

Birgit Zuurveld

11 Mar 2020

A low CPM, hundreds of people tagging each other under an Instagram post, a good viewing ratio of your video, or lots of blogs writing about your social campaign. These are all key indicators that can measure the success of your efforts on social media. But what do these metrics say exactly? Do they say something about making an impact through social media, impact being the thing we all want to achieve so badly at the moment?

More than just reach

We can all agree that, nowadays, it is about more than just reach. But what does making an impact actually mean? If you look at descriptions of this concept, you stumble upon words such as adding value, creating effect or influence. All similarly vague descriptions. So is it really all that complicated? I personally do not think so.

The only thing you need to think about carefully is the goal of your campaign and how you can get your audience to this goal. In fact, the familiar funnel from awareness to conversion is not that misplaced. What I often see happening, is that marketers want to reach their goal too quickly. The goal may be to sell more to, for example, a new target group, but if you have not yet created a brand preference within that target group, you can almost guarantee this will become a challenge.

Let’s blame ourselves

As social media people, we can blame ourselves for the fact that we all want success too quickly. We have lost ourselves in CPM’s, CPC’s and engagement ratios. We go wild for numbers, just to show everyone and anyone how successful our content and advertising strategy is. The purpose of the content became (almost) secondary. Rather, it has become more important to show that this Instagram Story "performed extremely well" if you compare it that one from last week.

And so, it is very important that we look beyond social KPIs. On top of that, there is something else that we shouldn’t forget when we talk about success on social. And that is that we cannot measure a large part of the conversations. 63% of messages nowadays are shared via private messaging services. Do you think that is a lot? Just reflect on your own behavior. How do you share a good article? Via Whatsapp. How do you share nice content that you see on Instagram? Via the private sharing option. And how do you share a beautiful campaign with your colleagues? I think you catch my drift.

The kitchen conversations

I like to compare these private conversations with kitchen conversations at a birthday party. Because you have to admit, it is often much nicer hanging out in the kitchen, rather than in the living room, where everyone tries to have a conversation together in that one big awkward circle. In the kitchen, the conversations go 1 on 1, or at least in a smaller group. The conversations are fairer, go deeper and the good discussions take place here.

So after the data hype on social media, we are looking for real stories - stories with which we can create brand preference, followed by a good strategy that leads to conversion. Making an impact is certainly possible if we give ourselves the time to go through this sequence and occasionally mingle with our target group in one of those kitchen conversations. Just to hear what they really think...

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