Social Media Marketing, Reality and Lies

Social Media Marketing seems to be the latest 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 companies are now emerging all over the place nowadays and they are telling anybody that will listen about how extremely crucial social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your business but, for the average little to medium sized company, does marketing to social networks actually live up to all the hype? Is spending a little fortune on working with a SMM business actually worth it? And has anyone really done their research on this before they employed somebody to set up there Facebook company page? Some SMM companies are setting up things like Facebook company pages (which are free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and informing their customers that they do not need a site due to the fact that Facebook is the biggest social media on the planet and everyone has a Facebook account. Now while it may hold true that Facebook is the biggest social media network in the world and yes, Facebook's members are prospective customers, the real question is are they actually buying? Social media marketing business are all too happy to explain the positives of social media like the number of individuals use Facebook or how many tweets were sent last year and the number of individuals enjoy YouTube videos etc. but are you getting the full picture? I once sat beside a SMM "expert" at a business seminar who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot about the fantastic benefits of establishing a Facebook organisation page for small company (with him of course) and selling on Facebook. So, fascinated by the aforementioned "experts" suggestions I looked him up on Facebook just to discover he had just 11 Facebook buddies (not an excellent start). So being the research nut that I am, I decided to take an excellent look into SMM in regard to offering 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 company rely so heavily on social networks for sales?

As a web designer I was constantly (and now increasingly) confronted with a number of social networking difficulties when potential clients would say that having a site sounds great but they had a Facebook organisation page and had actually been told by various sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social media networks were the important things to do, however after discussing their requirements it ended up being quite clear that those prospective customers didn't really understand why they required social media networks or SMM to create online sales, They simply desired it. For medium and little sized service I constantly suggested building a quality website over any kind of social network, why? Well it's easy actually since 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). I understand that sounds easy however it's true and the data back it up. The truth is that social media marketing cannot inform you that Facebook is a social media not a search engine and regardless of the variety of Facebook users and Google users being around the exact same, people don't utilize Facebook in the same way that they utilize a search engine like Google (which has around half the search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to search for service or items. They utilize it to communicate with friends and family or for news and entertainment. 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 actively use social media to interact with brand names. Now out of all individuals who do use social media and who do engage with brands whether actively or not, the majority (66%) say they need to feel a company is interacting honestly prior to they will interact.

How do you use social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?

Well initially of all I would say that having a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more service that social media in the majority of cases especially if you are a small to medium sized regional service due to the fact that 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 organisation. Regardless of all the (not so excellent) stats I still think it is still an excellent idea for company to utilize social media simply not in the very same method 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 look for hair stylists that's exactly what they are trying to find at that particular time. With something like Facebook the main intent is normally to get in touch with loved ones. 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 figure out what the maximum model is. That is not our primary focus today". One of the most significant problems company face with social networks and SMM is perception. According to the IBM Institute for Service Worth study there were "considerable gaps between exactly what organisations think consumers appreciate and exactly what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with business." For instance in today's society people are not just going to hand you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, comments or information without getting something back for it, so the old expression "exactly what remains in it for me?" comes into play. So the primary reason many people provide for interacting with brands or service on social media is to get discount rates, yet the brand names and business themselves think the main reason people engage with them on social media is to learn more about brand-new items. For brands and company receiving discounts just ranks 12th on their list of reasons individuals engage with them. Most organisations believe social media will increase advocacy, however just 38 % of customers agree.

If they want to see some sort of result from it, companies need to find more ingenious methods to link with social media. There were some great efforts displayed in the IBM study of companies that had actually gotten some sort of a manage on the best ways to utilize social media to their advantage, keeping in mind that when asked what they do when they connect with services or brand names via social media, customers list "getting discount rates or vouchers" and "purchasing services and products" as the top two activities, respectively an U.S ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery provided discount rates on their items on their Facebook page. Additionally there is an excellent program introduced by Best Purchases in the USA called Twelpforce where employees can react to client's concerns by means of Twitter. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the benefit is clearly in the favour of the excellent trick & the possible customer to social media marketing is to offer without aiming to sell (or looking like your selling) sadly most social media marketing is focused Social Media Agency the wrong way.

Constructing a tangible buyer to customer relationship via social media is hard and probably the most benefit to business' utilizing social media to boost their sites Google rankings. Service' need to comprehend that you can't simply setup a Facebook company page and hope for the finest. SMM requires effort and possible clients need to see worth in what you need to offer by means of your social media efforts give them something worth their social interaction and time then you may improve results.

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 progressively) confronted with numerous social networking challenges when possible clients would state that having a website sounds excellent but they had a Facebook organisation page and had been informed by various sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social networks were the thing to do, but after discussing their requirements it became rather clear that those potential customers didn't actually understand why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just desired it. Well it's simple actually 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 current study done by the IBM Institute for Service Value 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 purposefully utilize social media to interact with brand names. Well first of all I would state that having a well enhanced website is still going to bring you far more business that social media in most cases specifically if you are a little to medium sized regional organisation 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 don't have a website you're missing out on out on all of that prospective organisation. The primary factor the majority of people offer for communicating with brand names or business on social media is to get discounts, yet the brand names and organisation themselves think the primary reason people connect with them on social media is to discover about brand-new products.

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