LONDON: Social works most effectively when integrated into the media mix, meaning it is vital for brands to take an audience-led, holistic approach to social media planning, according to a leading industry figure.
In a Warc Best Practice paper, How to use social media effectively in the media mix, Mobbie Nazir, chief strategy officer at We Are Social, warns that a siloed approach can lead to cost inefficiencies, strategic conflict and missed opportunities.
Warc's own research into this area suggests that campaigns combining social media with between three and five other communications channels are by far the most effective in business terms.
Consumers' habit of second-screening – using a mobile device in tandem with TV viewing – is one of the most obvious opportunities for delivering multi-platform creative ideas and experiences to capture and engage audiences.
But social can be used to amplify the reach of television, for example, to help reach younger consumers who watch less TV these days. It can also work as a priming medium for TV, with consumers who see a brand ad on Facebook before they see it on TV being more likely to purchase the brand than those who saw it on TV first.
"In this way social can act in a similar way to a trailer for a movie," notes Nazir.
Social and search are highly complementary in the customer purchase journey and search engine algorithms favour sites that have social content as part of their offering, while social can also be deployed to extend the reach of email campaigns.
Nazir advises that creative content should be adapted for social media channels to account for the differences in media consumption behaviour – people don't watch Facebook video the same way they watch TV ads, for example.
And while digital allows advertisers to use precise targeting to drive higher response rates, they need to understand there are trade-offs involved; highly targeted campaigns may see a greater uplift in terms of behaviour due to content being more relevant, but the restricted scale of the campaign will limit the size of audience impacted.
"When it comes to media planning in the social space, brands need to balance scale and precision," Nazir states.
Data sourced from Warc