Editor's Comment: Social media's no isolated case

For months now, the sound of marketers excitedly scrawling the words 'social media' on whiteboards and flip charts up and down the country has reached almost deafening levels.

However, research from the IAB shows that less than a quarter of brand owners have given social media a central role in their marketing schedule. The reason is simple: despite the continuing hype surrounding Twitter and Facebook, social media is just another channel and should not be viewed as the be-all and end-all.

Toyota is discovering this first hand. While it is doing little in the way of above-the-line marketing to offset the threat to its brand since its recall of 2.3m vehicles in the US last week, it has been Facebooking and tweeting its socks off. Despite all this social media activity, Toyota's problems are worsening and all the tweets in the world won't change this. As Mark Ritson writes this week (page 18), it needs a far-reaching crisis-management strategy and sustained cross-platform marketing drive to win back startled consumers.

What Toyota doesn't appear to have realised is that social media is best used alongside other channels as part of an integrated campaign.

Unfashionable as it may be to point out, brands such as Comparethemarket.com are getting the most out of social media by using it as an add-on to their above-the-line activity. The formula for success is straightforward: the conversation is started offline, via TV, radio or outdoor, and continued online via a nicely branded blog or social media presence.

The approach of marketers is slowly becoming more sophisticated, but there is unlikely to be a meaningful shift toward social media until sites such as Twitter and Facebook widen their reach and prove their ability to deliver measurable ROI.


Lucy Barrett is on maternity leave.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers