Social Media Marketing, Truth and Lies

May 15, 2020 Business  No comments

Social Media Marketing is apparently the latest buzz word for anyone looking to improve their online presence and sales, but is Social Media Marketing (SMM) all it’s cracked up to be?

S.M.M companies are now springing up throughout the place these days and they’re telling anyone that will listen about how exactly incredibly important social networking like Facebook twitter and YouTube are to your company but, for the average small to mid-sized business, does marketing to social networks really surpass all the hype? Is spending a small fortune on hiring a SMM company really worth it? And has anyone really done their research on this before they hired someone to create there Facebook business page? Some SMM companies 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 do not need a web site because Facebook is the biggest social network in the world and everybody includes a Facebook account. Now while it may be true that Facebook is the biggest social network in the world and yes, smm panel Facebook’s members are potential consumers, the actual question is are they actually buying? Social media marketing companies are typical too happy to point out the positives of social networking like how lots of people use Facebook or just how many tweets were sent out last year and how lots of people watch YouTube videos etc. but have you been getting the full picture? I once sat close to a SMM “expert” at a business seminar who was spruiking to anyone who came within earshot about the amazing great things about setting up 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 an excellent start). So being the research nut that I am, I made a decision to have a good explore SMM regarding selling to see if it actually 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 web developer I was constantly (and now increasingly) met with several social networking challenges when potential clients would claim that having a web site sounds good but they had a Facebook business page and have 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 mid-sized business I always recommended creating a quality website over almost any social network, why? Well it’s simple really because social networking is Social Media, and social Networks are Social Networks they’re not business media and business networks (that will be similar to LinkedIn). I understand that sounds simple but it’s true and the statistics back it up. The fact is that social networking marketing fails to share with you that Facebook is a cultural network not a research 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 they use a search engine like Google (which has around half the search engine market), Yahoo and Bing to search for business or products. They put it to use 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 all social networking users stated that they cannot engage with brands over social networking at all and only around 23% actually purposefully use social networking to talk with brands. Now out of all those who do use social networking and who do talk with brands whether purposefully or not, most (66%) say they have to feel an organization is communicating honestly before they’ll interact.

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

Well first of all I would claim that having a well optimized website remains going to create you far more business that social networking generally especially if you certainly are a small to mid-sized local business because far more individuals will key in “hairdresser Port Macquarie” into a research engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing than they ever will on any Social Media Site and if you don’t have a web site you’re passing up on all of that potential business. However despite all the (not so good) statistics I still think it is still recommended for business to utilize social networking simply not in the exact same way that a lot of SMM professionals are today, Why? Because it’s clearly not working in the direction they claim it does. Basically SMM Companies and Business as a whole looked over social networks like Facebook as a brand 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 organization (in June 2004) and since them a few 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 until now (2012) both SMM Companies and Business have failed to truly capitalise on the huge number of Facebook users online. The truth is numbers doesn’t equal buyers. Is it in a Social Media Marketing company’s best interest to talk social networks up? Absolutely. Is it in a Social Network like Facebook’s best interests for individuals to think that companies can sell en masse by advertising and marketing using them? Needless to say it is. In early 2012, Facebook disclosed that its profits had jumped 65% to $1 billion in the last year as its revenue which is mainly from advertising had jumped almost 90% to $3.71 billion so clearly the concept of SMM is working out for them but it’s working out for you personally? Well… statistically no, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that it never will.

I think the major difference between social networks and search engines is intent. Individuals who use Google are deliberately searching for something so if they do a seek out hairdressers that’s what they are searching for at that specific time. With something such as Facebook the primary intent is generally to get in touch 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 now have to figure out what the optimum model is. But that’s not our primary focus today “.One of many 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 care about and what consumers say they desire from their social networking interactions with companies.” For example in the present society people aren’t just going handy you over there recommendations, Facebook likes, comments or details without getting something back for it, therefore the old adage “what’s inside it for me personally?” makes play. So the primary reason most people give for interacting with brands or business on social networking is to receive discounts, yet the brands and business themselves think the main reason people talk with them on social networking is to master about new products. For brands and business receiving discounts only ranks 12th on the listing of reasoned explanations why people talk with them. Most businesses believe social networking will increase advocacy, but only 38 % of consumers agree.

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