Social Media Marketing, Reality and Lies

Social Media Marketing appears to be the latest buzz word for anyone planning to increase their online presence and sales, but 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 informing anybody that will listen about how incredibly 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 buzz? Is investing a little fortune on hiring a SMM company truly worth it? And has anybody actually done their research study on this prior to they employed someone to set up there Facebook service page? Some SMM business are establishing things like Facebook organisation pages (which are totally free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and informing their customers that they don't need a site since Facebook is the greatest social network in the world and everybody has a Facebook account. Now while it might hold true that Facebook is the largest social network on the planet and yes, Facebook's members are prospective customers, the genuine concern is are they really purchasing? Social media marketing companies are all too pleased to explain the positives of social media like how many people use Facebook or the number of tweets were sent last year and how many individuals view YouTube videos etc. but are you getting the complete photo? I when sat next to a SMM "specialist" at a service seminar who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot about the amazing advantages of setting up a Facebook organisation page for small company (with him naturally) and selling on Facebook. Interested by the abovementioned "specialists" advice I looked him up on Facebook only to find he had only 11 Facebook pals (not an excellent start). So being the research study nut that I am, I chose to take an excellent check out SMM in regard to offering to see if it in fact 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 media networks for sales?

As a web designer I was continuously (and now progressively) confronted with numerous social networking difficulties when potential customers would state that having a site sounds good but they had a Facebook business page and had actually been informed by different sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social media networks were the thing to do, however after discussing their requirements it became quite clear that those potential customers didn't really understand why they required socials media or SMM to generate online sales, They simply wanted it. For medium and small sized business I constantly recommended building a quality site over any type of social network, why? Well it's basic truly because social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not business media and company networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). I understand that sounds basic but it holds true and the data back it up. The truth is that social media marketing cannot inform you that Facebook is a social network not a search engine and regardless of the variety of Facebook users and Google users being around the very same, individuals don't use Facebook in the same way that they use a search engine like Google (which has around half the online search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to search for organisation or items. They utilize it to stay connected with friends and family or for news and entertainment. In a recent research study done by the IBM Institute for Company Worth around 55% of all social media users specified that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and only around 23% actually purposefully use social media to communicate with brand names. Now out of all individuals who do use social media and who do interact with brands whether actively or not, the majority (66%) state they have to feel a company is communicating truthfully before they will engage.

So how do you utilize social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?

Well first of all I would say that having a well enhanced site is still going to bring you far more organisation that social media in the majority of cases specifically if you are a little to medium sized regional company because 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 do not have a site you're missing out on out on all of that potential organisation. In spite of all the (not so good) data I still think it is still an excellent concept for business to use social media simply not in the same method that a lot of SMM specialists are today, Why? Is it in a Social Media Marketing company's best interest to talk social networks up?

I think the significant distinction in between socials media and online search engine is intent. Individuals who utilize Google are deliberately looking for something so if they do a look for hairdressers that's exactly what they are trying to find at that specific time. With something like Facebook the main intent is generally to get in touch with friends and family. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said "I do not believe 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 maximum design is. However that is not our main focus today". Among the biggest problems company face with social media networks and SMM is understanding. Inning accordance with the IBM Institute for Service Worth research study there were "significant gaps in between what companies believe consumers care about and what consumers state they desire from their social media interactions with business." For example in today's society people are not simply 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?" comes into play. So the primary factor most people offer for interacting with brands or company on social media is to get discount rates, yet the brand names and business themselves believe the primary factor individuals connect with them on social media is to learn about new items. For brand names and organisation getting discounts only ranks 12th on their list of reasons individuals interact with them. Many services think social media will increase advocacy, however only 38 % of consumers agree.

There were some good efforts shown in the IBM research study of companies that had gotten some sort of a manage on how to use social media to their benefit, keeping in mind that when asked exactly what they do when they interact with organisations or brands via social media, customers list "getting discounts or vouchers" and "buying products and services" as the leading two activities, respectively an USA ice cream business called Cold Stone Creamery offered discount rates on their products on their Facebook page. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the benefit is plainly in the favour of the great technique & the potential consumer to social media marketing is to sell without attempting to sell (or looking like your selling) unfortunately most social media marketing is focused the incorrect method.

Developing a tangible purchaser to customer relationship through social media Website is not easy and most likely the most benefit to organisation' utilizing social media to improve their sites Google rankings. But business' have to understand that you cannot just setup a Facebook organisation page and expect the best. SMM requires effort and possible customers have to see value in exactly what you have to use through your social media efforts provide something worth their social interaction and time and after that you may improve results.

Now just as a footnote Facebook shares have actually dropped to under $20 per share, that's half their original price ... and the claims are flying


As a web designer I was continuously (and now progressively) confronted with a number of social networking challenges when possible clients would state that having a website sounds excellent but they had a Facebook service 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 requirements it became rather clear that those possible customers didn't in fact understand why they needed social networks or SMM to generate online sales, They just wanted it. Well it's basic actually because 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 research study done by the IBM Institute for Business Value around 55% of all social media users stated 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 say that having a well optimized website is still going to bring you far more service that social media in a lot of cases especially if you are a little to medium sized regional business since 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 Site and if you don't have a site you're missing out on all of that prospective business. The main reason most people provide for interacting with brand names or business on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brand names and business themselves think the main factor people engage with them on social media is to learn about brand-new products.

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