Social Media Marketing seems to be the most recent buzz word for anyone wanting to increase their online existence and sales, but is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked up to be?
S.M.M business are now springing up all over the place these days and they are informing anyone that will listen about how incredibly crucial social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your service but, for the average little to medium sized company, does marketing to social networks actually measure up to all the hype? Is spending a small fortune on working with a SMM business truly worth it? And has anyone actually done their research study on this before they hired somebody to establish there Facebook company page? Some SMM companies are setting up things like Facebook service pages (which are totally free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and telling their customers that they don't need a site because Facebook is the biggest social network on the planet and everybody has a Facebook account. Now while it might hold true that Facebook is the largest social media network worldwide and yes, Facebook's members are potential customers, the real question is are they really purchasing? Social media marketing companies are all too delighted to point out the positives of social media like how many individuals use Facebook or how many tweets were sent out last year and how many individuals see YouTube videos and so on however are you getting the full picture? I as soon as sat beside a SMM "professional" at a company seminar who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot about the remarkable advantages of establishing a Facebook organisation page for small company (with him naturally) and selling on Facebook. So, interested by the abovementioned "experts" recommendations I looked him up on Facebook just to discover he had only 11 Facebook friends (not a good start). So being the research nut that I am, I chose to take a good 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 business rely so heavily on socials media for sales?
As a web developer I was continuously (and now increasingly) faced with several social networking difficulties when possible clients would say that having a site sounds good but they had a Facebook organisation page and had been informed 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 rather clear that those potential customers didn't really understand why they needed social networks or SMM to produce online sales, They simply wanted it. Well it's easy actually because 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 Organisation Value around 55% of all social media users mentioned that they do not engage with brand names over social media at all and only around 23% really actively use social media to engage with brand names.
So how do you utilize social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well to start with I would state that having actually a well enhanced site is still going to bring you far more company that social media most of the times especially if you are a small to medium sized regional business since even more people are going to enter "hair stylist Port Macquarie" into an online search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing than they ever will on any Social Media Site and if you don't have a site you're losing out on all of that prospective organisation. In spite of all the (not so good) stats I still believe it is still a good concept for organisation to use social media simply not in the very same way that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? Since it's plainly not operating in the method they declare it does. Generally SMM Business and Organisation as a whole looked at social networks like Facebook as a fresh market ripe for the picking and when Facebook started getting users determined by the millions PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested US$ 500,000 for 7% of the business (in June 2004) and considering that them a couple of equity capital companies have made investments into Facebook and in October 2007, Microsoft revealed that it had actually acquired a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. Because Facebook's humble beginnings up until now (2012) both SMM Business and Organisation have actually stopped working to really capitalise on the big number of Facebook users online. The truth is numbers does not equivalent buyers. Is it in a Social Media Marketing business's best interest to talk social networks up? Definitely. Is it in a Social Media like Facebook's best interests for people to think that business can offer en masse by marketing and advertising with them? Of course it is. In early 2012, Facebook disclosed that its revenues had leapt 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its revenue which is primarily from advertising had leapt almost 90% to $3.71 billion so clearly the principle of SMM is working out for them however it is working out for you? Well ... statistically no, but that does not necessarily mean that it never will.
I think the significant difference between socials media and online search engine is intent. People who use Google are intentionally looking for something so if they do a look for hairdressers that's what they are looking for at that particular time. With something like Facebook the primary intent is usually to connect with family and friends. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself stated "I do not believe socials media can be generated income from in the same way that search (Online search engine) did ... In 3 years from now we need to find out exactly what the maximum design is. That is not our main focus today". Among the biggest problems business face with social media networks and SMM is understanding. Inning accordance with the IBM Institute for Service Worth research study there were "significant spaces in between what companies think consumers care about and exactly what consumers say they desire from their social media interactions with companies." In today's society individuals are not simply going to hand you over there suggestions, Facebook likes, remarks or information without getting something back for it, so the old expression "exactly what's in it for me?" enters into play. The main reason many people offer for engaging with brands or company on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brand names and service themselves believe the primary factor people interact with them on social media is to Elite Digital Marketing agency discover about new items. For brand names and organisation getting discount rates just ranks 12th on their list of reasons that individuals interact with them. Most companies believe social media will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers concur.
There were some great initiatives revealed in the IBM research study of companies that had gotten some sort of a manage on how to use social media to their advantage, keeping in mind that when asked exactly what they do when they interact with services or brands by means of social media, customers note "getting discount rates or vouchers" and "acquiring products and services" as the top two 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 plainly in the favour of the excellent trick & the potential customer to social media marketing is to sell without trying to sell (or looking like your selling) unfortunately most social media marketing is focused the wrong way.
Building a tangible buyer to consumer relationship via social media is not easy and probably the most benefit to business' using social media to boost their sites Google rankings. Business' need to understand that you cannot simply setup a Facebook organisation page and hope for the finest. SMM needs effort and prospective clients need to see value in what you need to use through your social media efforts provide something worth their social interaction and time and after that you may get better results.
Now just as a footnote Facebook shares have actually dropped to under $20 per share, that's half their initial cost ... and the suits are flying
As a web developer I was constantly (and now significantly) challenged with a number of social networking difficulties when potential clients would state that having a site sounds great but they had a Facebook business page and had actually been told by various sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social networks were the thing to do, however after discussing their needs it became rather clear that those prospective clients didn't actually understand why they needed social networks or SMM to generate online sales, They simply wanted it. Well it's basic actually since social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not business media and organisation networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). In a current study done by the IBM Institute for Organisation Worth around 55% of all social media users specified that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and just around 23% really purposefully utilize social media to communicate with brands. Well initially of all I would say that having actually a well enhanced website is still going to bring you far more organisation that social media in a lot of cases especially if you are a little to medium sized local business due to the fact that far more people 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 don't have a site you're missing out on all of that potential service. The primary factor most individuals provide for interacting with brand names or business on social media is to get discount rates, yet the brands and service themselves think the primary reason people connect with them on social media is to discover about new items.