Social Media Marketing seems to be the most recent buzz word for anyone seeking 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 springing up all over the place these days and they are informing anyone that will listen about how extremely crucial social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your company however, for the typical little to medium sized organisation, does marketing to social networks actually live up to all the buzz? Social media marketing business are all too happy to point out the positives of social media like how lots of individuals use Facebook or how many tweets were sent out last year and how many individuals see YouTube videos and so on but are you getting the complete picture? Being the research study nut that I am, I chose to take an excellent appearance 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?
As a web designer I was constantly (and now significantly) faced with a number of social networking challenges when prospective customers would say that having a site sounds good however 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, however after discussing their needs it became rather clear that those possible clients didn't in fact understand why they needed social networks or SMM to produce online sales, They simply desired it. Well it's basic actually because 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 current study done by the IBM Institute for Service Value around 55% of all social media users mentioned that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and just around 23% really purposefully utilize social media to engage with brand names.
So how do you utilize social media marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well first of all I would state that having actually a well enhanced site is still going to bring you even more service that social media most of the times especially if you are a little to medium sized local organisation 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 Site and if you don't have a site you're losing out on all of that potential organisation. Nevertheless in spite of all the (not so good) data I still think it is still a smart idea for business to use social media simply not in the same way that a lot of SMM specialists are today, Why? Because it's clearly not operating in the method they declare it does. Generally SMM Business and Business as a whole looked at social media 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 company (in June 2004) and considering that them a few venture capital companies have made investments into Facebook and in October 2007, Microsoft revealed that it had actually bought a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. Because Facebook's simple beginnings up until now (2012) both SMM Companies and Business have actually stopped working to genuinely capitalise on the huge number of Facebook users online. The fact is numbers does not equivalent buyers. Is it in a Social Media Marketing company's best interest to talk social media networks up? Definitely. Is it in a Social Media like Facebook's benefits for individuals to believe that companies can sell en masse by advertising and marketing with them? Obviously it is. In early 2012, Facebook revealed that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its revenue which is mainly from advertising had leapt nearly 90% to $3.71 billion so clearly the concept of SMM is exercising for them but it is exercising for you? Well ... statistically no, however that does not always mean that it never will.
I think the major difference in between socials media and search engines is intent. Individuals who utilize Google are intentionally searching for something so if they do a search for hairdressers that's what they are looking for at that specific time. With something like Facebook the primary intent is typically to get in touch with loved ones. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself stated "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 determine exactly what the maximum model is. However that is not our primary focus today". One of the biggest problems business confront with social media networks and SMM is perception. Inning accordance with the IBM Institute for Organisation Worth research study there were "substantial spaces in between exactly what organisations believe consumers appreciate and what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with business." For instance in today's society people are not simply 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?" enters play. The main reason many people give for connecting with brand names or organisation on social media is to get discount rates, yet the brands and organisation themselves believe the main factor individuals communicate with them on social media is to learn about new items. For brands and business getting discount rates only ranks 12th on their list of reasons why people interact with them. The majority of organisations think social media will increase advocacy, but just 38 % of customers concur.
There were some good efforts shown in the IBM study of business that had actually gotten some sort of a handle on how to utilize social media to their benefit, keeping in mind that when asked what they do when they interact with organisations or brands via social media, customers note "getting discounts or vouchers" and "buying products and services" as the leading 2 activities, respectively an U.S 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 advantage is clearly in the favour of the possible customer & the excellent trick to social media marketing is to offer without trying to offer (or looking like your selling) sadly most social media marketing is focused the incorrect method.
Building a concrete buyer to consumer relationship by means of social media is difficult and probably the most benefit to organisation' using social media to boost their sites Google rankings. But business' have to comprehend that you can't just setup a Facebook organisation page and hope for the very best. SMM needs effort and prospective consumers need to see worth in what you have to use via your social media efforts provide something worth their social interaction and time and after that you may improve 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 designer I was constantly (and now significantly) faced with several social networking obstacles when prospective clients would say that having a site sounds good however they had a Facebook company 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 requirements it ended up being quite clear that Social Media Agency those potential customers didn't really understand why they required social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just wanted it. Well it's easy actually since 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). In a current research study done by the IBM Institute for Business Worth around 55% of all social media users mentioned that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and just around 23% actually purposefully use social media to engage with brand names. Well first of all I would state that having actually a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more business that social media in many cases particularly if you are a little to medium sized regional business since 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 website you're missing out on all of that prospective business. The primary reason a lot of individuals give for communicating with brands or business on social media is to receive discount rates, yet the brand names and company themselves believe the main reason individuals engage with them on social media is to discover about new items.