In the old Cartoon Network show "Dexter's Laboratory," about a boy genius named Dexter, the kid's dad is frustrated that his wife is constantly on the phone. Finally, unable to tolerate it any longer, he rips the phone out of the wall and says: "I can't stand another minute of this mindless gab!"
I have a similar situation with my wife, who is always on her desktop Mac, MacBook or iPhone. Doing what? Posting to Facebook, commenting on blogs or texting. The urge to snatch the device out of her hands, throw it on the floor, and stomp it flat is almost irresistible.
Survey Says ...
In my humble opinion, "mindless gab" is the perfect descriptor for social media, an activity of which I am largely not a fan, though a sometime participant.
Now I am gratified to find new research supporting my point that social media marketing 1) has a very low return on time invested (ROTI) and 2) is therefore, to a large extent, mindless gab. Let's look at some studies:
• A Gallup poll published in June (ow.ly/B961U), found 62 percent of consumers surveyed said social media has no influence whatsoever on their purchasing decisions.
• Custora studied e-commerce activity among 72 million customers from 86 U.S. retailers (ow.ly/B95DM, opens as a PDF). It found the top three sources for acquiring new customers online are organic search, cost per click ads and email. Email accounted for 6.84 percent of new customers acquired, while Facebook generated a paltry 0.17 percent of new customer acquisition.
Worse, customers acquired via social media are worth less than those from other sources. Organic search acquires customers with a customer lifetime value (CLV) 54 percent above the average. Twitter customer lifetime value is 23 percent below the average CLV.
• A 2014 survey from KoMarketing Associates found only 6 percent of B-to-B buyers said social media had "a lot" of influence on the buying process, and 30 percent said it's important, but not a deal-breaker. The majority—63 percent—said they were either neutral or did not consider social media to be a factor in the B-to-B buying process.
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.