Dean Freeman in Wall Street Journal: Companies Are Wasting Money on Social Media

in Dean Freeman, News
October 23rd, 2013

“The Experts,” the Wall Street Journal‘s online portal that features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posed this question to Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman: What’s the biggest mistake companies make with social media?

Dean Freeman states that many companies jump on the “social media bandwagon” without a strategy or outcome metrics in place, which often spawns wasteful spending. According to an August 2013 survey of Chief Marketing Officers, he notes, only 15% have seen proven quantitative impact from their social media marketing expenditures, and yet, the same CMOs expect to double social media spending in the next five years. Dean Freeman strategizes:

Social media impacts consumer behavior. In the short term, a series of consumer attitudinal responses such as awareness, consideration, liking and intention gradually move consumers along the purchase funnel. It is possible for brands to trace these steps on the path to purchase on social media by monitoring when people start conversing, become fans or followers, become engaged, share content, etc. Unless firms improve their metrics and marketing analytics to obtain better forecasts on long-term brand performance by tracing these intermediate customer mind-set metrics and ultimately use them to pin down a clear social media strategy, the use of social media will only be a me-too play for some of them.

In the long term, Dean Freeman says, aiming for a more authentic dialogue with one’s audience is crucial as well. Rather than manipulate the message being sent out, communicate with consumers organically. This will build their trust and their loyalty to the brand.

View the Dean’s response here.