Social Media Marketing appears to be the latest buzz word for anyone looking to increase their online existence 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 nowadays and they are telling anyone that will listen about how exceptionally essential social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your service but, for the average little to medium sized service, does marketing to social media networks really measure up to all the hype? Is spending a small fortune on hiring a SMM business truly worth it? And has anyone truly done their research on this prior to they worked with somebody to establish there Facebook company page? Some SMM companies are establishing things like Facebook service 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 network in the world and everybody has a Facebook account. Now while it might hold true that Facebook is the largest social network worldwide and yes, Facebook's members are potential consumers, the genuine question is are they actually purchasing? Social media marketing business are all too pleased to mention the positives of social media like the number of people utilize Facebook or the number of tweets were sent last year and how many individuals see YouTube videos etc. however are you getting the full photo? I as soon as sat next to a SMM "specialist" at a company seminar who was spruiking to anybody who came within earshot about the incredible benefits of establishing a Facebook service page for small company (with him naturally) and selling on Facebook. Captivated by the aforementioned "professionals" recommendations I looked him up on Facebook just to discover he had just 11 Facebook buddies (not a good start). Being the research study nut that I am, I chose to take an excellent look into SMM in regard to selling to see if it really worked, who did it work for and if it did why did Social Media Marketing work for them? And should service rely so greatly on social networks for sales?
As a web developer I was constantly (and now increasingly) confronted with several social networking obstacles when possible clients would say that having a website sounds good but they had a Facebook company page and had been told by various sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that socials media were the thing to do, but after discussing their needs it ended up being quite clear that those prospective customers didn't in fact know why they required social media networks or SMM to create online sales, They just wanted it. For medium and small sized business I always advised developing a quality site over any type of social media network, why? Well it's basic truly due to the fact that social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not company media and service networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). I know that sounds simple however it's true and the data back it up. The fact is that social media marketing cannot inform you that Facebook is a social media network not an online search engine and in spite of the variety of Facebook users and Google users being around the same, individuals don't utilize Facebook in the same way that they use an online search engine like Google (which has around half the search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to look for company or items. They use it to stay connected with family and friends or for news and entertainment. In a current study done by the IBM Institute for Organisation Worth around 55% of all social media users stated that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and just around 23% actually actively use social media to engage with brands. Now from all the people who do utilize social media and who do connect with brands whether actively or not, the majority (66%) state they need to feel a business is communicating truthfully before they will engage.
How do you use social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well first of all I would say that having a well optimized website is still going to bring you far more business that social media in many cases specifically if you are a small to medium sized local company since far more individuals 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 Site and if you do not have a site you're missing out on all of that potential business. Despite all the (not so good) statistics I still think it is still a good idea for company to use social media simply not in the exact same method that a lot of SMM specialists are today, Why? Is it in a Social Media Marketing business's finest interest to talk social networks up?
I think the significant distinction in between socials media and online search engine is intent. People who use Google are intentionally looking for something so if they do a search for hair stylists that's exactly what they are searching for at that specific time. With something like Facebook the main intent is typically to get in touch with loved ones. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said "I don't believe social networks can be monetized in the same way that search (Online search engine) did ... In three years from now we have to determine exactly what the optimum design is. However that is not our primary focus today". Among the greatest problems service confront with social media networks and SMM is understanding. According to the IBM Institute for Company Worth research study there were "significant gaps in between exactly what companies believe customers care about and what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with business." For example in today's society people are not just going to hand you over there suggestions, Facebook likes, comments or information without getting something back for it, so the old adage "what remains in it for me?" enters into play. So the primary factor the majority of people offer for engaging with brands or service on social media is to get discounts, yet the brand names and service themselves think the main factor people communicate with them on social media is to find out about new products. For brand names and service receiving discounts just ranks 12th on their list of reasons people engage with them. The majority of businesses believe social media will increase advocacy, however only 38 % of customers agree.
There were some excellent initiatives shown in the IBM research study of companies that had actually gotten some sort of a handle on how to utilize social media to their advantage, keeping in mind that when asked what they do when they connect with companies or brands through social media, consumers list "getting discount rates or coupons" and "acquiring items and services" as the leading 2 activities, respectively an U.S ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery used discounts on their products on their Facebook page. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the advantage is clearly in the favour of the possible consumer & the excellent technique to social media marketing is to sell without attempting to sell (or looking like your selling) sadly most social media marketing is focused the incorrect method.
Developing a tangible purchaser to customer relationship by means of social media is difficult and most likely the most benefit to company' utilizing social media to boost their sites Google rankings. Business' require to comprehend that you can't simply setup a Facebook company page and hope for the best. SMM needs effort and possible customers need to see value in exactly what you need to offer via your social media efforts give them something worth their social interaction and time then you might get better outcomes.
Now just as a footnote Facebook shares have dropped to under $20 per share, that's half their initial rate ... and the lawsuits are flying
As a web designer I was constantly (and now progressively) challenged with several social networking obstacles when potential clients would state that having a website sounds excellent but they had a Facebook business page and had actually been informed by numerous sources (the ever present yet anonymous "they") that social networks were the thing to do, but after discussing their needs it became quite clear that those possible clients didn't in fact know why they required social networks or SMM to generate online sales, They just wanted it. Well it's simple truly because 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 Organisation Worth around 55% of all social media users specified that they do not engage with brand names over social media at all and only around 23% really actively utilize social media to communicate with brands. Well initially of all I would state that having actually a well optimized website is still going to bring you far more service that social media in the majority of cases specifically if you are a small to medium sized regional 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 do not have a site you're missing out on all of that possible service. The primary reason the majority of individuals offer for communicating with brands or company on social media is to receive discount rates, yet the brand names and company themselves believe the primary Logan Williams SEO factor people engage with them on social media is to find out about new items.