Social Media Marketing seems to be the most recent buzz word for anybody aiming to increase their online existence and sales, but is Social network Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked up to be?
S.M.M companies are now emerging all over the place nowadays and they are informing anyone that will listen about how exceptionally crucial social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your organisation 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 hiring a SMM company truly worth it? And has anyone actually done their research study on this before they employed somebody to set up there Facebook service page? Some SMM business are establishing things like Facebook company pages (which are free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and telling their customers that they do not require a site due to the fact that Facebook is the biggest social media on the planet and everybody has a Facebook account. Now while it might hold true that Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide and yes, Facebook’s members are prospective consumers, the real question is are they actually buying? Social media marketing business are all too delighted to mention the positives of social networks like the number of people use Facebook or how many tweets were sent in 2015 and the number of individuals view YouTube videos and so on but are you getting the full photo? I once sat beside a SMM “professional” at a service workshop who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot about the remarkable benefits of establishing a Facebook business page for small business (with him naturally) and selling on Facebook. So, fascinated by the previously mentioned “specialists” advice I looked him up on Facebook only to discover he had just 11 Facebook pals (not a good start). So being the research study nut that I am, I decided to take a great 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 business rely so heavily on socials media for sales?
As a web developer I was continuously (and now increasingly) challenged with a number of social networking difficulties when prospective customers would say that having a site sounds excellent but they had a Facebook organisation page and had been informed by various sources (the ever present yet anonymous “they”) that social media networks were the important things to do, however after discussing their requirements it ended up being quite clear that those potential customers didn’t in fact understand why they required social networks or SMM to generate online sales, They simply wanted it. For little and medium sized organisation I always suggested developing a quality site over any kind of social media, why? Well it’s easy actually due to the fact that social media is Social network, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not service media and company networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). I know that sounds simple but it’s true and the data back it up. The fact is that social media marketing cannot inform you that Facebook is a social network not an online search engine and in spite of the number of Facebook users and Google users being around the very same, people do not utilize Facebook in the same way that they use a search engine like Google (which has around half the search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to look for business or products. They utilize it to communicate with friends and family or for news and home entertainment. In a current research study done by the IBM Institute for Company Value around 55% of all social networks users specified that they do not engage with brands over social networks at all and only around 23% in fact actively utilize social media to interact with brand names. Now out of all the people who do use social media and who do communicate with brands whether actively or not, the majority (66%) say they need to feel a business is communicating honestly prior to they will connect.
So how do you utilize social networks marketing? And is it even worth doing?
Well to start with I would state that having actually a well optimized website is still going to bring you far more service that social networks most of the times particularly if you are a little to medium sized local service because much more people are going to enter “hair stylist Port Macquarie” into a search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing than they ever will on any Social network Site and if you do not have a site you’re losing out on all of that potential business. However regardless of all the (not so excellent) statistics I still think it is still a great idea for organisation to utilize social media just not in the same way that a lot of SMM specialists are today, Why? Because it’s plainly not working in the method they declare it does. Essentially SMM Business and Service as a whole took a look at socials media like Facebook as a fresh market ripe for the picking when Facebook started getting users measured by the millions PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested US$ 500,000 for 7% of the company (in June 2004) and because them a couple of venture capital firms have made investments into Facebook and in October 2007, Microsoft announced that it had acquired a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. Nevertheless since Facebook’s simple starts up until now (2012) both SMM Business and Service have actually failed to genuinely capitalise on the huge number of Facebook users online. The truth is numbers does not equal purchasers. Is it in a Social Media Marketing business’s benefit to talk socials media up? Absolutely. Is it in a Social Network like Facebook’s best interests for people to think that business can offer en masse by marketing and advertising with them? Naturally it is. In early 2012, Facebook divulged that its profits had leapt 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its profits which is primarily from advertising had leapt nearly 90% to $3.71 billion so plainly the concept of SMM is working out for them but it is working out for you? Well … statistically no, but that does not necessarily imply that it never will.
I believe the significant difference in between social networks and search engines is intent. People who use Google are intentionally looking for something so if they do a look for hairdressers 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 friends and family. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself stated “I don’t think socials media can be generated income from in the same way that search (Search Engines) did … In 3 years from now we need to find out what the maximum model is. But that is not our main focus today”. One of the biggest issues organisation face with social networks and SMM is perception. According to the IBM Institute for Business Worth research study there were “substantial gaps in between exactly what organisations think customers care about and what consumers state they desire from their social media interactions with companies.” For example in today’s society people are not just going to hand you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, remarks or information without getting something back for it, so the old expression “what remains in it for me?” enters play. So the main reason the majority of people provide for engaging with brand names or company on social networks is to get discounts, yet the brands and company themselves think the primary factor people connect with them on chinese social media marketing is to learn more about new products. For brands and organisation getting discounts just ranks 12th on their list of reasons people connect with them. Many services think social networks will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers agree.
Business have to find more ingenious ways to get in touch with social networks if they wish to see some sort of arise from it. There were some good efforts displayed in the IBM study of companies that had gotten some sort of a handle on the best ways to utilize social networks to their benefit, keeping in mind that when asked exactly what they do when they communicate with services or brand names via social media, consumers list “getting discount rates or discount coupons” and “acquiring services and products” as the top 2 activities, respectively an USA ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery used discount rates on their items on their Facebook page. Alternatively there is a fantastic program launched by Best Buys in the U.S called Twelpforce where workers can respond to customer’s questions by means of Twitter. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the benefit is plainly in the favour of the potential customer & the terrific trick to social media marketing is to offer without aiming to sell (or appearing like your selling) regrettably most social networks marketing is focused the wrong way.
Developing a concrete purchaser to consumer relationship through social networks is not easy and probably the most benefit to organisation’ using social networks to boost their sites Google rankings. But company’ have to understand that you can’t simply setup a Facebook business page and hope for the very best. SMM needs effort and prospective clients need to see value in exactly what you have to use through your social networks efforts give them something worth their social interaction and time and after that you may improve outcomes.