Brand awareness is one of those nebulous terms we marketers like to throw around. But what does it actually mean? Brand awareness is simply a measure of how many people could pick your brand out of a lineup or say "oh yeah, I've heard of them!" In a perfect world, brand awareness is rigorously measured using market research, customer surveys and a variety of other tools to find out just who knows you. Unfortunately, most small business owners I know don't live in a perfect world. However, they still want brand awareness.
According to our 2012 Small Business Social Media Survey, the number one goal small businesses have for social media is to increase brand awareness. This is a consistent trend in each of the last three years in which we've conducted our survey.
For this question, respondents were allowed to select all applicable answers so we can see the full range of social activities. In a close race for second place among desired social media outcomes are client contact, finding clients, demonstrating expertise and driving web traffic. As small business owners look for affordable ways to market their companies, social media seems to fill the void.
While many small businesses are using social media, I worry most still aren't using the tools to their fullest potential. As we mentioned, good brand awareness marketing should involve a heavy measurement piece that explains just what's working and what isn't. But since they rarely have the tools to truly measure brand awareness we think business owners should demand more from their social media.
Most of the companies in the study track connections (78%) and web traffic (76%) which is a loose indicator of awareness, but not interest or willingness to buy. The more valuable measures, the elements which require interest and action are mentioned has as often: email subscriptions (42%), form downloads (33%) or RSS subscriptions (14%).
As you build your social medial plan think about the actions you will take, but if you are going to invest the time make sure you get the results you want.
About the author:
As Creative Director of Roundpeg, an Indianapolis-based marketing firm, Lorraine is typically at the center of the managed chaos that makes the agency run. With more than thirty years as a marketing professional (lie, tell her she doesn’t look that old) Lorraine keeps Roundpeg popping with a never-ending stream of new ideas.
A native New Yorker, Lorraine is a Hoosier by choice, and is committed to fostering growth and entrepreneurship in her adopted city. Recognized by the Indianapolis Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Women in Indianapolis, she is an active member of the local Indianapolis business community.
When not at Roundpeg, Lorraine can be found sharing what she knows in seminars and presentations around the country. She has a BA from Queens College, City University of NY, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.