Social Media Marketing is apparently the newest buzz word proper looking to increase their online presence and sales, but is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked as much as be?As a net developer I was constantly (and now increasingly) confronted with several social networking challenges when potential clients would say that having a website sounds good but they’d a Facebook business page and had been told by various sources (the ever present yet anonymous “they”) that social networks were the thing to do, but after discussing their needs it became quite clear that those potential clients didn’t actually know why they needed social networks or SMM to generate online sales,
They only wanted it. For small and medium-sized business I usually recommended developing a quality website over any kind of social network, why? Well it’s simple really because social media marketing is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they’re not business media and business networks (that will be similar to LinkedIn). I realize that sounds simple but it’s true and the statistics back it up. Truth be told that social media marketing marketing fails to inform you that Facebook is a social network not a search engine and despite the number of Facebook users and Google users being around the exact same, people don’t use Facebook in the exact same way that they make use of a 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 help keep in touch with family and friends or for news and entertainment. In a recently available study done by the IBM Institute for Business Value around 55% of social media marketing users stated that they cannot engage with brands over social media marketing at all and only around 23% actually purposefully use social media marketing to interact with brands. Now out of all of the people who do use social media marketing and who do interact with brands whether purposefully or not, most (66%) say they should feel a company is communicating honestly before they’ll interact.
So how will you use social media marketing marketing? And could it be even worth doing?
Well to begin with I’d say that having a well optimized website is still going to bring you a lot more business that social media marketing in most cases particularly if you really are a small to medium-sized local business because far more folks are likely 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 in the event that you don’t have a website you’re passing up on all of that potential business. However despite all the (not so good) statistics I still believe it is still recommended for business to utilize social media marketing not in the exact same way that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? Because it’s clearly not employed in the direction they claim it does. Basically SMM Companies and Business all together viewed social networks like Facebook as a fresh market ripe for the picking and when Facebook started getting users measured by the millions PayPal co-founder Peter.
Thiel invested US$500,000 for 7% of the organization (in June 2004) and since them a few venture capital firms have made investments into Facebook and in October 2007, Microsoft announced so it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. However since Facebook’s humble beginnings up until now (2012) both SMM Companies and Business have failed to truly capitalise on the huge amount of Facebook users online. The truth is numbers doesn’t equal buyers. Can it be in a Social Media Marketing company’s best interest to talk social networks up? Absolutely. Can it be in a Social Network like Facebook’s best interests for individuals to believe that companies can sell en masse by advertising and marketing using them? smm reseller panel Obviously it is. In early 2012, Facebook disclosed that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its revenue that is mainly from advertising had jumped almost 90% to $3.71 billion so clearly the concept of SMM is training for them but it is training for you personally? Well… statistically no, but that will not necessarily mean that it never will.
I believe the major difference between social networks and search engines is intent. Those who use Google are deliberately looking for something so should they do a seek out hairdressers that’s what they are searching for at that particular time. With something such as Facebook the primary intent is normally to connect with friends and family. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said “I don’t think social networks may be monetized in the exact same way that search (Search Engines) did… In three years from we have now to determine what the optimum model is. But that’s not our primary focus today” ;.One of the biggest problems business face with social networks and SMM is perception. Based on the IBM Institute for Business Value study there have been “significant gaps between what businesses think consumers value and what consumers say they want from their social media marketing interactions with companies.” For example in today’s society people are not just going to hand you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, comments or details without getting something back because of it, so the old adage “what’s inside for me personally?” has play. So the primary reason a lot of people give for interacting with brands or business on social media marketing is to receive discounts, yet the brands and business themselves think the key reason people interact with them on social media marketing is to understand about new products. For brands and business receiving discounts only ranks 12th on the set of explanations why people interact with them. Most businesses believe social media marketing will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers agree.
Companies need to find more innovative ways to connect with social media marketing if they would like to see some type of derive from it. There were some good initiatives shown in the IBM study of companies that had gotten some type of a handle on the best way to use social media marketing with their advantage, keeping in mind that after asked what they do when they interact with businesses or brands via social media marketing, consumers list “getting discounts or coupons” and “purchasing products and services” as the most truly effective two activities, respectively a U.S ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery offered discounts on the products on the Facebook page. Alternatively there is a great program launched by Best Buys in the U.S called Twelpforce where employees can react to customer’s questions via Twitter. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the benefit is actually in the favour of the potential customer & the great trick to social media marketing marketing is to offer without trying to sell (or looking like your selling) unfortunately most social media marketing marketing is focused the wrong way.
Building a real buyer to consumer relationship via social media marketing is difficult and essentially the most benefit to business’ using social media marketing to enhance their websites Google rankings. But business’ need to recognize that you can’t just setup a Facebook business page and a cure for the best. SMM requires effort and potential customers need to see value in everything you have to provide via your social media marketing efforts give them something worth their social interaction and time and then you may get better results.