In May 2013, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. bought ad space to promote their business page on Facebook. A few days later the campaign suspended disgruntled executives. The reason? The problem was not that they were not adding enough fans, but fans were getting too much too fast.
“We feared that our relationship and connection to our community down while the fan base was growing”, said Allison Sitch, senior vice president of global public relations for the hotel chain.
Today, Ritz-Carlton has around 498,000 fans on Facebook; some of its competitors have many more. But rather than worry about match them, the company invests time analyzing their conversations on social networks to determine what customers like and what not. It also seeks to reach those who have never stayed in their hotels and they perceive it as too expensive.
Ritz-Carlton illustrates a shift in corporate strategies in networks. After years of wooing fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter, many companies now are more concerned with quality than quantity. They are monitoring mentions of their brand, and then use the information to strengthen their business.
“Having fans and followers is gone. Important thing now is what social networks do for you and the real objectives of your business”, says Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers AS, a company social network measures based Prague, Czech Republic.
When many companies opened Facebook pages in the late 2000s, used them as just another brand website where shared links, contact information and monitored the customer complaints. Then fell in the numbers game, and tried to accumulate masses of fans and followers with the idea that they were so building a solid marketing channel. But that was not always the case.
“Social networking is not the strength of powerful and persuasive marketing that many companies hoped it would”, Gallup concludes Inc., which on Monday released a report that examines the issue.
Gallup notes that 62% of more than 18,000 U.S. consumers surveyed said that social networks had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said they had some influence. U.S. companies spent U.S. $ 5,100 million in social network advertising in 2013, but Gallup says that “consumers are experts dismiss related to a brand on Facebook and Twitter content.” The Gallup poll was conducted via the Internet and by mail between December 2012 and January 2013. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.
In a study last year found that Nielsen Holdings NV consumers worldwide trust ads on TV, print, radio, posters in the streets and in the progress of the film at the cinema rather than advertising in social networks. Gallup says that brands mistakenly assumed that consumers would receive with open arms in their social lives. Then they promoted a product or service that no chord in the public and that scared a lot of people.
Recent changes in the way we manage the walls of the users of Facebook notifications have reduced the ability of brands to reach their fans. Instead of a chronological flow of notifications, Facebook now displays news the way that the network believes that users want to see it by default. The result marks reached 6.5% of their fans with their postings on Facebook in March, compared to 16% in February 2012, according to EdgeRank Checker, a signature of social network analysis recently acquired by Socialbakers.
Indian Road Cafe in New York estimated that he spent about $ 5,000 in ads on Facebook, and their page now has around 13,000 fans. “But the result is really disappointing”, says co-owner Jason Minter. “Unless you pay to promote a publication, only you get to 300 or 400.’ve Definitely noticed the loss of the organic range. You invest a lot of time, and unfortunately there is no return”.
A spokesman for Facebook Inc. says companies need to adjust their priorities. “The way that brands should consider is changing”, he said. “The fans should be the means to achieve positive corporate results, not the end in themselves.” The spokesman said that Facebook has been honest with the companies on the lower reach of their publications.
Companies reach more people who are not their fans that his own followers in Facebook, thanks to friends share content, bringing the hierarchy of postings on Facebook ranking system, according Socialbakers. That gives more weight to the conversation, rather than just publishing content.
Another reason that companies are looking beyond their numbers of fans is that the figures are easily alterable. Researchers say that many fans are automated fake accounts, or designed to inflate figures. As companies adjust their social networking strategies, do not stop advertising on Facebook. Net income for the first quarter of the company nearly tripled on a 72% increase in income.
Twitter Inc. says companies can have a large following and meaningful conversations with users. “Involvement is key and something that in turn can raise your audience”, says Ross Hoffman, director of brand strategy Twitter. “Responsibility for good content lies with the owner, and we are working with brands and agencies to polish this skill”.