Truth and Lies in Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing (SMM) appears to be the newest buzzword for anybody trying to enhance their online presence and sales, but is it all that it is built up to be?
S.M.M. companies are springing up all over the place these days, telling anyone who will listen how important social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are to your business, but does marketing to social networks really live up to all the hype for the average small to medium sized business? Is it really worth it to invest a little lot on employing an SMM firm? And, more importantly, has anyone done their homework before hiring someone to build up their Facebook company page?
Some SMM firms charge $600 to $1,000 or more to set up Facebook business pages (which are free) and tell their clients that they don’t need a website because Facebook is the largest social network in the world and everyone has a Facebook account. While it is true that Facebook is the world’s largest social network and that its members are potential consumers, the real question is whether they are actually purchasing. Social media marketing businesses are quick to bring out the benefits of social media, such as how many people use Facebook, how many tweets were sent out last year, and how many people watch YouTube videos, but are you getting the whole picture?
I once sat next to an SMM “expert” at a business conference who was extolling the virtues of putting up a Facebook business page for small businesses (with him, of course) and selling on Facebook to anyone who would listen. So, fascinated by the recommendations of the aforementioned “experts,” I checked him out on Facebook, only to discover that he had just 11 Facebook friends (not a good start). So, being the research nut that I am, I wanted to check into SMM in terms of selling to discover whether it truly worked, who it worked for, and why Social Media Marketing worked for them. Should companies rely so much on social media for sales?
So, how do you go about using social media marketing? Is it even worthwhile?
First and foremost, having a well-optimized website will still bring you far more business than social media in most cases, especially if you are a small to medium-sized local business, because far more people will type in “hairdresser Port Macquarie” into a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing than they will on any Social Media Site, and if you don’t have a website, you are missing out on all of that potential business.
Nonetheless, despite all of the (unfavorable) data, I believe it is still a good idea for businesses to use social media, but not in the same way that many SMM experts do today. Because it plainly isn’t operating the way they say.