Social Media Promotional, Point and additionally Dependes

Social Media Marketing seems to be the latest buzz word for anybody looking to increase their online presence and sales, but is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it is cracked as much as be?

S.M.M companies are actually springing up all around the place nowadays and they’re telling anyone which will listen about how precisely incredibly important social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your organization but, for the common small to medium-sized business, does marketing to social networks really meet all the hype? Is spending a small fortune on hiring a SMM company really worth it? And has anyone really done their research with this before they hired someone to create there Facebook business page? Some SMM companies are establishing things such as Facebook business pages (which are free) for $600 to $1,000 or maybe more and telling their clients that they don’t need an internet site because Facebook is the biggest social network on earth and everybody features a Facebook account.

Now while it may be true that Facebook is the greatest social network on earth and yes, Facebook’s members are potential consumers, the real question is are they actually buying? Social media marketing companies are typical too happy to indicate the positives of social media like how many individuals use Facebook or how many tweets were sent a year ago and how many individuals watch YouTube videos etc. but are you getting the total picture? I once sat next to a SMM “expert” at a business seminar who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot in regards to the amazing great things about establishing a Facebook business page for small company (with him of course) and selling on Facebook. So, intrigued by these “experts” advice I looked him on Facebook only to get he’d only 11 Facebook friends (not a great start).  smm panel So being the study nut that I’m, I chose to take a good explore SMM in regards to selling to see if it really worked, who achieved it work for and if it did why did Social Media Marketing work for them? And should business rely so heavily on social networks for sales?

As a net developer I was constantly (and now increasingly) confronted with several social networking challenges when potential clients would claim that having an internet site 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 just wanted it. For small and medium-sized business I recommended creating a quality website over any type of social network, why? Well it’s simple really because social media is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they’re not business media and business networks (that could be more like LinkedIn). I understand that sounds simple but it’s true and the statistics 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 despite the amount 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 se like Google (which has around half the se market), Yahoo and Bing to look for business or products. They utilize it to 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 users stated that they do not engage with brands over social media at all and only around 23% actually purposefully use social media to interact with brands. Now out of all the individuals who do use social media and who do interact with brands whether purposefully or not, most (66%) say they need to feel a company is communicating honestly before they’ll interact.

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

Well to begin with I would claim that having a well optimized website continues to be going to bring you much more business that social media in most cases especially if you really are a small to medium-sized local business because far more people are likely to enter “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 an internet site you’re missing all of that potential business. However despite all the (not so good) statistics I still think it is still a good idea for business to make use of social media simply not in the exact same way that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? Because it’s clearly not in the way they claim it does. Basically SMM Companies and Business all together looked over social networks like Facebook as a new 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 business (in June 2004) and since them several venture capital firms have made investments into Facebook and in October 2007, Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. However since Facebook’s humble beginnings up to now (2012) both SMM Companies and Business have failed to truly capitalise on the huge number of Facebook users online. The simple truth is numbers doesn’t equal buyers. Could it be in a Social Media Marketing company’s best interest to talk social networks up? Absolutely. Could it be in a Social Network like Facebook’s best interests for people to believe that companies can sell en masse by advertising and marketing with them? Needless to say it is. In early 2012, Facebook disclosed that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its revenue which is mainly from advertising had jumped almost 90% to $3.71 billion so clearly the thought of SMM is training for them but it is training for you? 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 when they do a seek out hairdressers that’s what they are seeking at that particular time. With something like Facebook the principal intent is generally to connect with friends and family. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said “I don’t think social networks can be monetized in the exact same way that search (Search Engines) did… In 36 months from now we have to find out what the optimum model is. But that is not our primary focus today” ;.Among the biggest problems business face with social networks and SMM is perception. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value study there have been “significant gaps between what businesses think consumers care about and what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with companies.” For example in today’s society people aren’t just going to hand you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, comments or details without getting something back for this, and so the old adage “what’s inside it for me?” comes into play. So the principal reason many people give for interacting with brands or business on social media is to get discounts, yet the brands and business themselves think the primary reason people interact with them on social media is to understand about new products. For brands and business receiving discounts only ranks 12th on their set of reasoned explanations why people interact with them. Most businesses believe social media increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers agree.

Companies need to get more innovative ways to connect with social media if they want to see some type of result from it. There were some great initiatives shown in the IBM study of companies that had gotten some type of a handle on how best to use social media to their advantage, bearing in mind that when asked what they do if they interact with businesses or brands via social media, consumers list “getting discounts or coupons” and “purchasing products and services” as the utmost effective two activities, respectively a U.S ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery offered discounts on their products on their Facebook page. Alternatively there is a great program launched by Best Buys in the U.S called Twelpforce where employees can answer customer’s questions via Twitter. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the advantage is obviously in the favour of the potential customer & the truly amazing trick to social media marketing is to sell without attempting to sell (or looking like your selling) unfortunately most social media marketing is focused the wrong way.

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