Social Media Marketing seems to be the current buzz word for anybody seeking 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 extremely essential social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your company but, for the average little to medium sized company, does marketing to social networks really measure up to all the buzz? Is spending a small fortune on hiring a SMM business actually worth it? And has anybody truly done their research on this prior to they employed somebody to set up there Facebook business page? Some SMM business are setting up things like Facebook business pages (which are complimentary) for $600 to $1,000 or more and informing their clients that they do not need a site due to the fact that Facebook is the most significant social network in the world and everyone has a Facebook account. Now while it might hold true that Facebook is the largest social network in the world and yes, Facebook's members are possible customers, the real question is are they in fact buying? Social media marketing companies are all too pleased to point out the positives of social media like the number of individuals utilize Facebook or how many tweets were sent out in 2015 and the number of people view YouTube videos etc. however are you getting the full image? I when sat beside a SMM "expert" at an organisation seminar who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot about the fantastic advantages of setting up a Facebook business page for small company (with him obviously) and selling on Facebook. So, fascinated by the abovementioned "specialists" recommendations I looked him up on Facebook only to find he had just 11 Facebook buddies (not an excellent start). So being the research study nut that I am, I decided to take a good 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 service rely so heavily on socials media for sales?
As a web developer I was constantly (and now progressively) confronted with numerous social networking difficulties when potential customers would say that having a site sounds excellent but they had a Facebook organisation page and had actually been told by different sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social networks were the important things to do, but after discussing their requirements it ended up being quite clear that those potential customers didn't actually understand why they needed social media networks or SMM to generate online sales, They simply wanted it. For medium and small sized organisation I always advised developing a quality site over any type of social media, why? Well it's easy actually because social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not organisation media and company networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). I understand that sounds easy but it holds true and the stats back it up. The truth is that social media marketing fails to inform you that Facebook is a social network not an online search engine and despite the number of Facebook users and Google users being around the same, individuals don't use Facebook in the same way that they utilize an online search engine like Google (which has around half the search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to search for business or products. They utilize it to correspond with family and friends or for news and entertainment. In a recent research study done by the IBM Institute for Business 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% in fact actively utilize social media to engage with brands. Now from all the people who do utilize social media and who do engage with brands whether actively or not, the majority (66%) say they need to feel a business is interacting truthfully before they will engage.
So how do you use social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well to start with I would say that having actually a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more business that social media most of the times especially if you are a small to medium sized regional company due to the fact that much more individuals are going to enter "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 all that potential service. Nevertheless despite all the (not so excellent) data I still think it is still a smart idea for business to use social media simply not in the same way that a great deal of SMM experts are today, Why? Because it's plainly not operating in the method they claim it does. Essentially SMM Business and Business as a whole looked at social media networks like Facebook as a fresh market ripe for the selecting 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 given that them a few equity capital companies have actually made investments into Facebook and in October 2007, Microsoft announced that it had actually acquired a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. However because Facebook's simple starts up until now (2012) both SMM Companies and Service have actually failed to genuinely capitalise on the huge number of Facebook users online. The fact is numbers does not equal buyers. Is it in a Social Media Marketing business's benefit to talk social networks up? Absolutely. Is it in a Social Media Network like Facebook's benefits for people to believe that companies can sell en masse by marketing and advertising with them? Naturally it is. In early 2012, Facebook divulged that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its profits which is generally from marketing had jumped almost 90% to $3.71 billion so plainly the idea of SMM is exercising for them but it is working out for you? Well ... statistically no, however that does not always suggest that it never will.
I think the major difference between socials media and search engines 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 main intent is usually to connect with friends and family. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said "I don't think social media networks can be generated income from in the same way that search (Online search engine) did ... In 3 years from now we need to figure out what the optimal design is. That is not our main focus today". Among the most significant issues service confront with socials media and SMM is understanding. Inning accordance with the IBM Institute for Organisation Worth research study there were "substantial spaces in between what organisations believe customers appreciate and what consumers say they desire from their social media interactions with business." In today's society people 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. So the main factor the majority of people offer for connecting with brand names or organisation on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brands and company themselves think the main reason people engage with them on social media is to learn more about new products. For brand names and service getting discount rates just ranks 12th on their list of reasons that individuals engage with them. A lot of services think social media will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers agree.
There were some excellent initiatives shown in the IBM research study of business that had gotten some sort of a deal with on how to utilize social media to their advantage, keeping in mind that when asked exactly what they do when they connect with services or brands via social media, customers note "getting discounts or coupons" and "acquiring products and services" as the leading two activities, respectively an U.S ice cream business 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 potential consumer & the terrific trick to social media marketing is to offer without attempting to sell (or looking like your selling) regrettably most social media marketing is focused the incorrect way.
Constructing a concrete buyer to customer relationship through social media is difficult and most likely the most benefit to service' using social media to boost their sites Google rankings. But business' have to comprehend that you can't simply setup a Facebook service page and expect the best. SMM requires effort and possible clients need to see value in exactly what you have to provide through your social media efforts provide something worth their social interaction and time then you might get better outcomes.
Now just as a footnote Facebook shares have actually dropped to under $20 per share, that's half their original cost ... and the suits are flying
As a web designer I was constantly (and now progressively) faced with numerous social networking challenges when prospective customers would say that having a website sounds good however they had a Facebook organisation page and had been informed by different 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 potential clients didn't really understand why they required social networks or SMM to generate online sales, They just wanted it. Well it's easy really since social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not organisation media and business 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 specified that they do not engage with brand names over social media at all and just around 23% in fact actively use social media to communicate with brand names. Well initially of all I would state that having a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more service that social media in a lot of cases particularly if you are a little to medium sized local company because 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 Site and if you don't have a website you're missing out on out on all of that possible business. The primary reason most individuals offer for connecting with brands or company on social media is to receive discounts, yet the Social Media Agency brands and company themselves believe the main factor individuals engage with them on social media is to discover about new items.