Change occurs quickly in the realm of social media marketing (SMM) and what once were commonplace practices are now things of the past. So, supporting blog entries, purchasing a position for search engine results, or placing an advertisement on Facebook are SMM activities of the past.
In his book entitled Earn It. Don’t Buy It, Jim Tobin argues that you get further when you earn your recognition through social media websites then if you try to buy the same results. For advice on correctly using social media marketing to your benefit in today’s online world, here’s what Tobin suggests:
- Don’t Waste Your Time Buying Facebook Advertisements – The click through percentage of Facebook advertisements is a meager 0.04 percent. So, out of 1,000 people who see a Facebook ad, only four actually look at the advertisement. Those results are not worth your advertising dollar.
- Young Social Media Users are on the Move – Some of the social media websites with the largest user growth include Kik, Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram. Twitter is another social media site with quick growth. Teenagers said they used Twitter 12 percent of the time in 2011. The next year, it grew to 26 percent with teens.
- Brands Require Influencers, Not Advocates – When an influencer backs your brand, you gain social media evidence, which confirms your product or service from third-party sources. Confidence soars to 92 percent with “recommendations from people I know.” When consumer opinions are posted online, 70 percent of the public believe in the results.
- Numbers Might be Deceiving – Some experts who track online data report that on given months, over a million active social media users aren’t seen online. With hundreds of millions of users on social media sites such as Facebook, this is a blip in a vast ocean, but it might indicate negative trends for the future.
- Social Media is Probably Changing – A May 2013 report in the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that teenagers felt less passion for Facebook, because it was harder for them to keep up with the social media site and other social media websites better catered to their needs.
- Facebook Could Go the Way of MySpace – Social media websites surge and fad in popularity. MySpace was once “the” place to be for teens, but it’s not so, today. Instead of worrying about which social media site to be on, it’s more important for you, as a business owner, to correctly identify properties in your product or service which make people care about it.
You gain more influence in the social media arena when you engage your customers, rather than buying their trust. If current and future customers share ideas with you and their friends, they become owners of the concepts related to your brand, not just viewers of it. In a sense, you gain a huge marketing department through social media discussions in which participants influence your brand. That’s where viral marketing helps your business.
According to concepts touted by the website Social Fresh, there are three simple steps to bringing on influencers who engage social media conversations from others. They are:
- Get Your Users to Speak Up – This is a common SMM practice from the past. You gain the best social media discussions when users tout real advantages they see in your service or product. The more value present users perceive, the greater you’ll witness social media discussions.
- Entice Users to Tout Your Brand – Move social media discussion toward your brand by speaking directly to customers, which indicates an approachable customer service for your business. Authentic social media discussions with your customers are the most effective at engaging user participation in your brand.
- The Next Step Engages a Community – Once users are “talking” your brand, their friends join in to influence others in the social media community toward your brand and product. A platform, like social media groups, forums, or ideas of your own creation spurs this discussion.
When you earn customers via social media sites through these methods, you’re much further ahead than you are when you buy a Facebook ad that gives you a 0.04 percent click-through rate. Of course, these techniques cost time and money. But, you’ll get a better return on your social media marketing dollar following this philosophy.
Posted by: Joel Canter