There is no question that social media posted by organizations about their products and services plays an important role in the marketing mix. But the question of how does “user-generated content” compare with “earned content” has been a point of discussion and debate for some time, well at least since Facebook has been around.
Every organization and company uses social media. That’s a given. And they use it for many purposes not least of which is to gently promote their enterprise to those who follow them.
But what is the credibility factor when an organization tells the world how great they are? Maybe they really are great, but would an organization say otherwise?
Nielsen Research just released a study that compared the effectiveness of self-generated content versus articles and reports written by objective journalists. The results show that there is much more credibility when a third-party says great things about a company, product or organization than if the organization says it about themselves.
Here is what the extensive Nielsen Report concluded:
“…our research suggests that there is a higher degree of trust from
consumers when they are reading content from credible, third party
“In the end, the impact of expert content on consumer decision making
demonstrates the important role that objective and credible information
from trusted sources play in the purchase process.”
We now have proof that every marketing campaign must include media relations to gain exposure in the mainstream media. Posting information alone usually is not enough.
The challenge is that while social media posts are easy — anybody can do it with a computer and internet connection — getting the attention of reporters is not so simple. That’s where PR firms with media relations experience come in.
We have been saying this for years, and we say it in lectures and workshops that we give. If an organization believes that they have their marketing covered with a Facebook and Twitter account and an intern managing both, they are unfortunately missing the marketing boat.