Social Marketing Is Best Served on a Combo Plate

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|October 25, 2011

If you’re accountable for the dollars your company spends on social media-related marketing and you’re looking for evidence that socially engineered content and engagement marketing lifts sales, here’s some good news.

A just-released study shows that consumers – patrons of five fast-food franchises in this case – are much more likely to pull out their wallets and purses after being exposed to social content on sites like Facebook and Twitter than those who aren’t. Moreover, when exposed to socially engineered content and other types of media (e.g., television ads, billboard campaigns and public relations efforts resulting in earned media placements) the likelihood for a bigger spend, consumption or brand perception is increased by a whopping two to seven times.

These findings — from the latest Social Media Sales Impact Study (published by Ogilvy & Mather and ChatThreads) — reinforce the importance of having an integrated multichannel marketing campaign that includes creating and leveraging conversational and user-generated content.

The study also shows that you shouldn’t put all your eggs into one basket. Exposure to several fast-food brands via social media reached only 24 percent of the consumers involved in the exercise. That’s low when compared to 69 percent of survey participants who reported having taken note of a TV ad for one of the restaurant brands during a weeklong test period. Billboards for one or more of the five chains (KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s) caught the eye of only 37 percent of consumers.

But the study shows that exposure to multiple channels — a combo plate involving social media along with television exposure, billboards, public relations or other advertising avenues — positively impacts…

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