Social Media Marketing appears to be the current buzz word for anyone aiming to increase their online presence and sales, however is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked up to be?
S.M.M business are now emerging all over the place these days and they are telling anybody that will listen about how exceptionally important social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your organisation but, for the typical little to medium sized business, does marketing to social networks truly measure up to all the buzz? Is investing a little fortune on employing a SMM company really worth it? And has anybody actually done their research study on this prior to they employed someone to establish there Facebook company page? Some SMM business are setting up things like Facebook business pages (which are totally free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and telling their clients that they do not require a website because Facebook is the greatest social media on the planet and everyone has a Facebook account. Now while it might be true that Facebook is the largest social media network worldwide and yes, Facebook's members are potential customers, the real concern is are they really buying? Social media marketing companies are all too happy to mention the positives of social media like the number of people use Facebook or how many tweets were sent out last year and the number of individuals see YouTube videos and so on however are you getting the complete photo? I when sat next to a SMM "professional" at a company seminar who was spruiking to anybody who came within earshot about the incredible benefits of setting up a Facebook business page for small business (with him of course) and selling on Facebook. Fascinated by the previously mentioned "experts" suggestions I looked him up on Facebook only to find he had just 11 Facebook buddies (not a great start). So being the research study nut that I am, I decided to take a great check out SMM in regard to offering to see if it in fact worked, who did it work for and if it did why did Social Media Marketing work for them? And should business rely so heavily on socials media for sales?
As a web designer I was constantly (and now significantly) faced with several social networking difficulties when possible clients would say that having a site sounds good however they had a Facebook business page and had actually been told by numerous sources (the ever present yet anonymous "they") that social networks were the thing to do, however after discussing their needs it became rather clear that those potential customers didn't actually know why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They simply desired it. Well it's easy really due to the fact that social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not company media and organisation networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). In a recent research study done by the IBM Institute for Service Worth around 55% of all social media users stated that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and only around 23% really actively utilize social media to engage with brands.
So how do you use social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well initially of all I would say that having actually a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more organisation that social media in most cases especially if you are a small to medium sized local organisation because far more people are going to type in "hair stylist Port Macquarie" into a search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing than they ever will on any Social Media Website and if you don't have a website you're missing out on out on all of that possible organisation. Despite all the (not so great) stats I still believe it is still a great concept for organisation to utilize social media simply not in the very same way that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? Is it in a Social Media Marketing company's best interest to talk social networks up?
I believe the major distinction in between socials media and online search engine is intent. Individuals who utilize Google are deliberately searching for something so if they do a search for hairdressers that's what they are trying to find at that specific time. With something like Facebook the primary intent is usually to connect with family and friends. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said "I don't think social media networks can be monetized in the same way that search (Search Engines) did ... In three years from now we have to determine what the optimal model is. That is not our primary focus today". One of the most significant problems company face with social media networks and SMM is perception. According to the IBM Institute for Company Value study there were "significant gaps between what businesses think customers appreciate and exactly what customers state they desire from their social media interactions with business." For example in today's society people are not just going to hand you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, comments or details without getting something back for it, so the old expression "exactly what remains in it for me?" comes into play. So the primary reason most people give for connecting with brand names or service on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brands and business themselves believe the primary factor individuals communicate with them on social media is to learn about new items. For brand names and organisation receiving discount rates only ranks 12th on their list of reasons that individuals communicate with them. A lot of services believe social media will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers concur.
There were some great initiatives revealed in the IBM study of business that had gotten some sort of a handle on how to use social media to their benefit, keeping in mind that when asked what they do when they interact with services or brands via social media, customers list "getting discount rates or coupons" and "buying products and services" as the top 2 activities, respectively an USA ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery provided discount rates on their products on their Facebook page. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the advantage is clearly in the favour of the terrific technique & the potential client to social media marketing is to offer without trying to sell (or looking like your selling) regrettably most social media marketing is focused the incorrect way.
Constructing a tangible purchaser to customer relationship by means of social media is difficult and most likely the most benefit to business' using social media to boost their websites Google rankings. But organisation' need to comprehend that you can't just setup a Facebook organisation Logan Williams SEO page and hope for the very best. SMM requires effort and possible customers need to see worth in exactly what you have to provide by means of your social media efforts give them something worth their social interaction and time then you may get better results.
Now just as a footnote Facebook shares have dropped to under $20 per share, that's half their original rate ... and the suits are flying
As a web developer I was constantly (and now significantly) confronted with a number of social networking obstacles when potential clients would state that having a website sounds good however they had a Facebook business page and had actually been told by numerous sources (the ever present yet anonymous "they") that social networks were the thing to do, however after discussing their needs it ended up being quite clear that those possible clients didn't actually understand why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just wanted it. Well it's basic truly due to the fact that social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not service media and business networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). In a recent research study done by the IBM Institute for Business Worth around 55% of all social media users stated that they do not engage with brand names over social media at all and just around 23% actually actively use social media to connect with brands. Well initially of all I would state that having a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more business that social media in the majority of cases particularly if you are a small to medium sized regional business due to the fact that far more individuals are going to type in "hairdresser Port Macquarie" into a search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing than they ever will on any Social Media Website and if you do not have a site you're missing out on all of that possible business. The primary reason many individuals offer for connecting with brand names or business on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brands and service themselves believe the primary factor individuals interact with them on social media is to discover about brand-new items.