Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

March 02 2016


Social Media Marketing, Truth and Lies

Social Media Marketing Singapore

Facebook marketing seems to be the latest buzz word for anyone looking to increase their online presence and sales, but is Social media (SMM) all it is cracked approximately be?

S.M.M organizations are now springing up everywhere these days and they are telling anybody that will listen about how exactly incredibly important social media like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your business but, for your average small to medium sized business, does marketing to social networks really live up to all of the hype? Is spending thousands on hiring a SMM company value it? And has anyone really done their research with this before they hired a person to set up there Facebook business page? Some SMM organizations are setting up things like Facebook business pages (which are free) for $600 to $1,000 or even more and telling their clients that they don't need a website because Facebook may be the biggest social network in the world and everybody has a Facebook account. Now as it may be true that Facebook may be the largest social network on the planet and yes, Facebook's members are potential consumers, the genuine question is are they actually buying? Facebook marketing companies are all too thrilled to point out the positives of social media like how many people use Facebook or the number of tweets were sent out last year and how many individuals watch YouTube videos etc. but you are you getting the full picture? One time i sat next to a SMM "expert" with a business seminar who had been spruiking to anyone who came within earshot regarding the amazing benefits of establishing a Facebook business page for small enterprise (with him of course) and selling on Facebook. So, intrigued by the aforementioned "experts" advice I looked him on Facebook only to find he only 11 Facebook friends (wii start). So to be the research nut that we're, I decided to take a great look into SMM in regard to supplying see if it actually worked, who did it work for and if it did why did Facebook marketing work for them? And really should business rely so heavily on social networking sites for sales?

Like a web developer I was constantly (and after this increasingly) confronted with several online community challenges when clients would say that developing a website sounds good but they had a Facebook business page coupled with been told by various sources (the ever present yet anonymous "they") that internet sites were the thing to do, but after discussing the requirements it became really 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 medium and small sized business I recommended building 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 networking sites they are not business media and business networks (that you will find more like LinkedIn). I know that sounds simple yet it's true and the statistics support it. The fact is that social media marketing fails to tell you that Facebook is a social network not a search engine and despite the number of Facebook users and Google users being around the same, people don't use Facebook just like that they use a search results like Google (that has around half google market), Yahoo and Bing find business or products. They use it to keep in touch with family and friends or for news and entertainment. Within a recent study made by the IBM Institute for Business Value around 55% coming from all social media users claimed that they do not engage with brands over social media marketing at all and only around 23% actually purposefully use social networking to interact with brands. Now of the many people who do use social websites and who do interact with brands whether purposefully or otherwise, the majority (66%) say they should feel a company is communicating honestly before they will interact.

So how do you use facebook marketing? And is it even worth doing? Social Media Marketing

Well to start with I would say that developing a well optimized web site is still going to provide you with far more business that social media marketing in most cases especially if you certainly are a small to medium sized local business because a great deal more people are going to key in "hairdresser Port Macquarie" into a google search like Google, Yahoo and Bing compared to what they ever will on any Social media marketing Site and if you do not possess a website you're missing all of that potential business. However despite every one of the (not so good) statistics I still believe it is still a good idea for business to work with social media just not in the same way that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? As it's clearly not working in terms they claim it does. Basically SMM Companies and Business all together looked at social networks like Facebook as a fresh market ripe for the picking and when Facebook started getting users measured through the millions PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested US$500,000 for 7% of the company (in June 2004) and since them a few growth capital firms have made investments into Facebook along with October 2007, Microsoft announced that 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 failed to truly capitalise about the huge number of Facebook users online. The reality is numbers does not equal buyers. Would it be in a Social Media Marketing company's welfare to talk social networks up? Absolutely. Could it be in a Social Network like Facebook's interests for people to believe that companies can market en masse by advertising and marketing with them? Of course it really is. In early 2012, Facebook disclosed that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion in the previous year as its revenue generally from advertising had jumped almost 90% to $3.71 billion so clearly the concept of SMM is working out for the children but it is working out for you? Well... statistically no, however that does not necessarily mean that it won't.

I believe the major contrast between social networks and search engines is intent. Individuals who use Google are deliberately seeking something so if they do a search for hairdressers it is precisely what they are looking for during this particular time. With something similar to Facebook the primary intent will be to connect with friends and family. In October 2008, Mark Zuckerberg himself said "I do not think social networks can be monetized just as that search (Search engines like google) did... In three years from now we have to figure out what the optimum model is. That's not our primary focus today". One of the primary problems business face with social networking sites and SMM is perception. Based on the IBM Institute for Business Value study there are "significant gaps between what businesses think consumers care about and what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with companies." For instance in today's society people are not just going to hand you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, comments or details without getting something back for it, so the old adage "what's in it for me?" is important. So the primary reason a lot of people give for reaching brands or business on social media marketing is to receive discounts, but the brands and business themselves think the key reason people interact with them on social media is to learn about new items. For brands and business receiving discounts only ranks 12th on the list of reasons why people interact with them. Most businesses believe social websites will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers agree.

Companies must find more innovative solutions to connect with social media whenever they want to see some sort of derive from it. There were the right initiatives shown from the IBM study of firms that had gotten some kind of a handle on how to use social media with their advantage, keeping in mind that whenever asked what they do after they interact with businesses or brands via social media, consumers list "getting discounts or coupons" and "purchasing products and services" since the top two activities, respectively a U.S ice cream company called Cold Stone Creamery offered discounts on his or her products on their Facebook page. Alternatively you will find there's great program launched by Best Buys inside the U.S called Twelpforce where employees can reply to customer's questions via Twitter. With both Cold Stone Creamery and Twelpforce the power is clearly in the favour of the potential client & the great trick to social media marketing is to sell without marketing (or looking like your selling) unfortunately most social media marketing is focused the wrong way.

Developing a tangible buyer to consumer relationship via social media is not easy and probably probably the most benefit to business' using social websites to boost their websites Google rankings. But business' need to comprehend that you can't just setup a Facebook business page and hope all went well. SMM requires effort and customers need to see value in what you have to offer via your social media efforts give them something worth their social interaction and time and then you may get better results.

Don't be the product, buy the product!