Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is the trying to become the de facto hub of online advertising. The social networking company is battling Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for the privilege, while Twitter remains on the outskirts, picking up the scraps that the big two leave behind.
A new study suggests that neither of the social networks are being used particularly well by advertisers.
The most important findings of the study say that social media campaigns are still chaotic and lack strategic planning. Just 12 percent of respondents said that their social media strategy was planned beyond the next year, and just 34 percent said that they had models that related social networking presence to real performance metrics.
The survey was carried out by The Altimer Group; 700 social media strategists were questioned about their social networking campaigns, and the way they relate to their businesses. The full report can be found here.
The findings portray a world in which social media advertising is incredibly immature. That is not a bad thing for companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter. What it means is that their services are not being utilized properly at present. As usage improves, the services are likely to see additional ad revenues coming their way as their services become more effective.
The study sets out six stages of usage for social media, outlining a path that companies need to follow in order to get the most out of their social media presences. The stages in order of effectiveness are: Planning, Presences, Engagement, Formalized, Strategic and Converged. The biggest companies seem to be a the Engagement stage, where they have a deep presence but its relationship to the rest of the company is loose.
The Formalized, Strategic and Converged stages represent greater governance of social media, and deeper integration with the firm’s broader public relations and marketing presence. The Converged stage, which just a handful of companies have reached, is one at which the social media world drives the company.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) might do well to offer services that take companies from the early stages of this development to the later ones. Better returns for advertisers mean better returns for Facebook. That is what drives Facebook revenue higher, and what the company needs in order to compete with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).