Social Media Marketing appears to be the most recent buzz word for anyone planning to increase their online presence and sales, however is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked up to be?
S.M.M companies are now emerging all over the place these days and they are informing anyone that will listen about how extremely important social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your service however, for the typical little to medium sized company, does marketing to socials media truly live up to all the buzz? Is spending a small fortune on hiring a SMM company truly worth it? And has anybody actually done their research study on this before they worked with somebody to establish there Facebook service page? Some SMM companies are establishing things like Facebook company pages (which are free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and telling their clients that they do not need a site since Facebook is the biggest social media network on the planet and everybody has a Facebook account. Now while it may hold true that Facebook is the largest social media network worldwide and yes, Facebook's members are potential consumers, the genuine concern is are they actually buying? Social media marketing companies are all too happy to point out the positives of social media like how many individuals use Facebook or the number of tweets were sent last year and how many individuals watch YouTube videos etc. but are you getting the complete photo? I when sat next to a SMM "expert" at a company workshop who was spruiking to anybody who came within earshot about the fantastic benefits of setting up a Facebook business page for small business (with him obviously) and selling on Facebook. Fascinated by the abovementioned "specialists" guidance I looked him up on Facebook just to discover he had only 11 Facebook buddies (not a great start). So being the research nut that I am, I chose to take a great check out SMM in regard to selling to see if it actually worked, who did it work for and if it did why did Social Media Marketing work for them? And should company rely so greatly on social media networks for sales?
As a web designer I was continuously (and now increasingly) challenged with a number of social networking obstacles when potential customers would say that having a website sounds excellent but they had a Facebook service page and had been told by numerous sources (the ever present yet anonymous "they") that social networks were the thing to do, but after discussing their needs it became rather clear that those potential clients didn't actually understand why they needed social networks or SMM to produce online sales, They simply wanted it. Well it's easy actually since 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 Value around 55% of all social media users mentioned that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and only around 23% in fact purposefully use social media to connect with brands.
So how do you use social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well first of all I would say that having a well enhanced website is still going to bring you far more business that social media in many cases specifically if you are a little to medium sized regional business 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 site you're missing out on out on all of that possible business. In spite of all the (not so excellent) statistics I still think it is still a good idea for organisation to use social media just not in the exact same way that a lot of SMM experts are today, Why? Is it in a Social Media Marketing business's best interest to talk social networks up?
One of the greatest issues service face with social networks and SMM is perception. The primary reason most people give for connecting with brand names or service on social media is to get discount rates, yet the brand names and company themselves think the main factor individuals connect with them on social media is to discover about new items. Many organisations think social media will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of customers agree.
There were some excellent efforts shown in the IBM research study of companies that had actually gotten some sort of a manage on how to utilize social media to their advantage, keeping in mind that when asked exactly what they do when they engage with companies or brand names through social media, customers note "getting discounts or coupons" and "acquiring items and services" as the top 2 activities, respectively a UNITED STATE ice cream business called Cold Stone Creamery provided discount rates on their items on their Facebook page. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the advantage is clearly in the favour of the possible client & the great technique to social media marketing is to offer without trying to sell (or looking like your selling) sadly most social media marketing is focused the wrong method.
Building a concrete buyer to consumer relationship by means of social media is difficult and most likely the most benefit to service' using social media to improve their websites Google rankings. But service' need to comprehend that you can't simply setup a Facebook business page and expect the best. SMM requires effort and possible clients have to see value in what you have to use through your social media efforts provide something worth their social interaction and time and after that you might get better outcomes.
Now just as a footnote Facebook shares have dropped to under $20 per share, that's half their initial price ... and the claims are flying
As a web developer I was continuously (and now increasingly) faced with numerous social networking difficulties when potential customers would say that having a website sounds excellent but they had a Facebook organisation page and had been told by numerous sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social networks were the thing to do, but after discussing their needs it ended up being quite clear that those possible clients didn't really understand why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just desired 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 business media and service networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). In a current study done by the IBM Institute for Organisation Value around 55% of all social media users mentioned that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and only around 23% in fact purposefully use social media to engage with brand names. 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 many cases particularly 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 don't have a site you're missing out on out on all of that potential service. The main factor most people offer for communicating with brand names or organisation on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brand names and organisation themselves think the primary factor individuals SEO Agency interact with them on social media is to discover about brand-new items.