Social Media Marketing, Truth and Lies

Social Media Marketing appears to be the latest buzz word for anyone looking 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 these days and they are informing anyone that will listen about how extremely 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 networks actually live up to all the hype? Social media marketing business are all too delighted to point out the positives of social media like how numerous individuals utilize Facebook or how lots of tweets were sent out last year and how many people watch YouTube videos etc. but are you getting the full picture? Being the research nut that I am, I decided to take a good look into 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?

As a web designer I was continuously (and now progressively) faced with several social networking obstacles when potential customers would state that having a site sounds great however they had a Facebook service page and had actually been informed by numerous sources (the ever present yet anonymous "they") that social media networks were the thing to do, but after discussing their needs it became quite clear that those possible customers didn't in fact understand why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just desired it. For little and medium sized business I constantly advised developing a quality site over any kind of social media, why? Well it's easy truly since 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). I understand that sounds easy but it holds true and the statistics back it up. The fact is that social media marketing fails to inform you that Facebook is a social media not an online search engine and in spite of the variety of Facebook users and Google users being around the exact same, individuals do not use Facebook in the same way that they utilize an online search engine like Google (which has around half the search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to look for service or products. They utilize it to stay connected with friends and family or for news and entertainment. 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% actually purposefully utilize social media to engage with brand names. Now out of all individuals who do utilize social media and who do engage with brand names whether actively or not, the majority (66%) say they need to feel a company is communicating honestly before they will communicate.

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

Well first of all I would state that having a well enhanced website is still going to bring you far more organisation that social media in most cases specifically if you are a little to medium sized local service 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 don't have a website you're missing out on all of that prospective organisation. In spite of all the (not so good) stats I still believe it is still a great concept for business to utilize social media just not in the exact same method that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? Is it in a Social Media Marketing business's finest interest to talk social networks up?

I believe the major difference in between social media networks and online search engine is intent. People who utilize Google are deliberately searching for something so if they do a look for hairdressers that's exactly what they are looking for at that specific time. With something like Facebook the primary intent is typically to get in touch with family and friends. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself stated "I don't believe socials media can be monetized in the Social Media Agency same way that search (Online search engine) did ... In 3 years from now we have to determine what the maximum model is. That is not our main focus today". One of the most significant issues company confront with social networks and SMM is perception. Inning accordance with the IBM Institute for Business Value research study there were "significant gaps in between what services believe customers care about and exactly what customers say they want from their social media interactions with business." For instance in today's society people are not just going to hand you over there suggestions, Facebook likes, comments or information without getting something back for it, so the old expression "what remains in it for me?" enters into play. So the main reason many people provide for connecting with brands or service on social media is to get discounts, yet the brands and service themselves believe the primary reason individuals connect with them on social media is to learn about new products. For brand names and organisation receiving discounts just ranks 12th on their list of reasons individuals connect with them. Most businesses believe social media will increase advocacy, but just 38 % of customers concur.

There were some great initiatives shown in the IBM study of business that had actually gotten some sort of a deal with on how to use social media to their benefit, keeping in mind that when asked exactly what they do when they engage with services or brands via social media, customers note "getting discount rates or discount coupons" and "purchasing products and services" as the leading 2 activities, respectively a UNITED STATE ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery used discount rates on their items on their Facebook page. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the benefit is clearly in the favour of the potential consumer & the fantastic trick to social media marketing is to offer without attempting to sell (or looking like your selling) regrettably most social media marketing is focused the incorrect way.

Building a concrete purchaser to consumer relationship via social media is hard and probably the most benefit to company' utilizing social media to enhance their websites Google rankings. But business' have to understand that you can't simply setup a Facebook service page and hope for the best. SMM needs effort and prospective customers have to see value in what you need to offer by means of 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 suits are flying


As a web designer I was continuously (and now progressively) confronted with numerous social networking difficulties when potential customers would state that having a website sounds excellent but they had a Facebook organisation 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 potential customers didn't actually understand why they needed social networks or SMM to create online sales, They just desired it. Well it's simple actually because social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they are not organisation media and service networks (that would be more like LinkedIn). In a current study done by the IBM Institute for Organisation Value around 55% of all social media users stated that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and just around 23% really actively use social media to engage with brands. Well initially of all I would say that having actually a well optimized site is still going to bring you far more business that social media in a lot of cases especially if you are a little to medium sized regional company 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 do not have a website you're missing out on all of that potential company. The main reason the majority of people offer for communicating with brand names or business on social media is to get discount rates, yet the brands and service themselves believe the main factor people engage with them on social media is to learn about brand-new products.

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