Social Media Marketing, Reality and Lies

Social Media Marketing seems to be the current buzz word for anyone aiming to increase their online presence and sales, however is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked up to be?

S.M.M companies are now springing up all over the place nowadays and they are informing anybody that will listen about how incredibly essential social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your organisation however, for the average small to medium sized organisation, does marketing to social media networks actually live up to all the buzz? Is investing a small fortune on employing a SMM business really worth it? And has anybody actually done their research on this prior to they worked with someone to establish there Facebook organisation page? Some SMM companies are establishing things like Facebook business pages (which are free) for $600 to $1,000 or more and informing their customers that they don't require a site because Facebook is the most significant social media in the world and everyone has a Facebook account. Now while it might be true that Facebook is the largest social media network worldwide and yes, Facebook's members are potential consumers, the genuine concern is are they actually buying? Social media marketing business are all too delighted to point out the positives of social media like how many individuals utilize Facebook or how many tweets were sent out last year and the number of individuals see YouTube videos and so on but are you getting the full photo? I when sat beside a SMM "expert" at a company seminar who was spruiking to anybody who came within earshot about the fantastic advantages of setting up a Facebook company page for small business (with him naturally) and selling on Facebook. Captivated by the aforementioned "experts" guidance I looked him up on Facebook just to discover he had just 11 Facebook good friends (not a good start). Being the research study nut that I am, I decided to take a good 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 developer I was constantly (and now increasingly) challenged with several social networking challenges when possible customers would say that having a site sounds excellent 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 important things to do, but after discussing their needs it ended up being quite clear that those possible clients didn't really know why they required socials media or SMM to produce online sales, They just wanted it. For medium and little sized company I constantly advised developing a quality website over any kind of social network, why? Well it's easy really due to the fact that 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). I know that sounds easy but it holds true and the stats back it up. The truth is that social media marketing fails to 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 same, individuals don't use 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 look for service or items. They use it to stay connected with family and friends or for news and home entertainment. In a recent research study done by the IBM Institute for Organisation Worth around 55% of all social media users mentioned that they do not engage with brand names over social media at all and just around 23% actually purposefully utilize social media to connect with brand names. Now from all individuals who do use social media and who do engage with brands whether actively or not, the bulk (66%) say they have to feel a company is communicating honestly before they will interact.

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

Well initially of all I would state that having actually a well enhanced site is still going to bring you far more business that social media in many cases specifically if you are a little to medium sized regional organisation 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 Website and if you do not have a website you're missing out on out on all of that potential service. Despite all the (not so great) statistics I still believe it is still a good concept for company to utilize social media just not in the very same way that a lot of SMM experts are today, Why? Is it in a Social Media Marketing business's best interest to talk social networks up?

One of the most significant problems service face with social networks and SMM is perception. The main reason a lot of people provide for connecting with brands or organisation on social media is to receive discount rates, yet the brands and organisation themselves think the primary reason people connect with them on social media is to discover about brand-new products. A lot of businesses think social media will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of customers agree.

There were some good efforts shown in the IBM research study of business that had gotten some sort of a handle on how to use social media to their advantage, keeping in mind that when asked what they do when they communicate with businesses or brands via social media, consumers note "getting discount rates or coupons" and "purchasing products and services" as the top two activities, respectively an U.S ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery offered discounts on their products on their Facebook page. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the benefit is clearly in the favour of the terrific technique & the prospective client to social media marketing is to sell without attempting to offer (or looking like your selling) unfortunately most social media marketing is focused the wrong way.

Developing a tangible buyer to consumer relationship through social media is challenging and most likely the most benefit to service' utilizing social media to enhance their sites Google rankings. But business' need to understand that you can't just setup a Facebook company page and hope for the best. SMM needs effort and potential clients need to see worth in what you need to offer by means of your social media efforts provide something worth their social interaction and time and then you may improve outcomes.

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


As a web designer I was continuously (and now progressively) challenged with several social networking obstacles when potential customers would state that having a website sounds great however they had a Facebook business page and had actually been told by different sources (the ever present yet confidential "they") that social networks were the thing to do, however after discussing their requirements it became quite clear that those potential clients didn't in fact know why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just desired it. Well it's simple truly due to the fact that social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not company media and business networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). In a current research study done by the IBM Logan Williams SEO Institute for Company Worth around 55% of all social media users specified that they do not engage with brand names over social media at all and just around 23% actually actively use social media to engage with brands. Well first of all I would say that having actually a well enhanced site is still going to bring you far more business that social media in the majority of cases specifically if you are a small to medium sized local company since far more people 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 Site and if you do not have a site you're missing out on all of that potential company. The primary reason a lot of people offer for connecting with brands or business on social media is to receive discounts, yet the brand names and company themselves believe the primary reason individuals connect with them on social media is to learn about new products.

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