By Rob Blackie, Director of Social at OgilvyOne:
To understand where Social is going next, we need to acknowledge some pretty significant problems.
Social’s biggest problem currently is that integration with the rest of digital isn’t usually taken seriously, mainly because of organisational siloes and incentives.
Selling directly in Social is a good example of this. Outside China (where selling in Social is now mainstream), it’s hard to buy things when using a Social network currently - so very few things get sold. The reason is simple: The vast majority of Social network use is on mobiles. And, unless you have your payment details saved in an app then it’s difficult to buy something on your mobile. So I, for instance, have my payment details saved for Ocado and Amazon on my mobile but not for Facebook and Twitter.
This means that brands who try to sell in Social tend to think that it’s very hard. For the simple reason that the people who they successfully convince to buy, are usually switching devices (to a tablet or laptop) to actually pay for a product. However since cross-device tracking is hard, this usually looks like a failure of Social to sell their product.
While most of the broader digital industry has stopped using last-click for attribution purposes, in practice it’s still mainstream in Social. Yet estimates from Google and Adobe (and backed up by worked with our own clients), show that this underestimates conversions by anything between 80% and 3,000%, depending on the category.
Virtually all the most interesting things you can do in Social overlap heavily with other digital disciplines such as email marketing (e.g. custom audiences), UX/CX/web design (e.g. working out how to make Social part of a broader customer journey), CRM & web analytics (e.g. Does Social drive valuable data capture?), SEO, paid media, mobile etc.
But in practice these still tend to be carved out to different specialisms and therefore create siloed, and extremely inefficient, activity.
We all have a responsibility to grow up and work out how to work better with colleagues, competitors, clients/agencies if it’s going to work better.
Over the next few months I’ll be running through some of the priority areas we are trying to fix this year - let me know if you’d like me to address any others.