The social media marketing honeymoon is over (2)
If the answer is no, then you need to consider the value of the intangible benefits of social media marketing.
Let's be generous. Let's assume that the intangible benefits of social media marketing offer an entire order of magnitude more revenue than the direct revenue. This would mean that social media brings in slightly under 10% of your online revenue.
Compare this to how much you have invested in social media. Do you like what you see?
Why business has gotten social media wrong
Social media marketing has been driven by businesses' fear of losing competitiveness. This is not the same as adopting a new marketing platform because it has proven itself time and again.
The one thing that social media has actually marketed very well is itself! This is because social media has a vested interest in social media.
But why doesn't it work for business?
- Buying "likes" was never a smart idea
- Likes don't have much intrinsic value
- Being great in social media doesn't trump good products and service
- Publishing great content requires the skills and expertise of a publisher
- People immediately assume there's bias in content that comes direct from a company (read How social influencers can grow your business online for a good way to get around this)
How to use social media marketing properly
Businesses' underlying error in judgement is this:
Business mistakenly views social media as the connection with customers. It's not. Social media is a tool to connect with customers.
In other words, that connection with customers that will make them ready to buy is not sufficiently met by social media. Social media is a great tool for reaching out to customers, but it's not the whole equation.
That's why so many businesses are able to obtain fine looking social media marketing metrics (i.e. plenty of likes, lots of "engagement"), but completely fail to convert it to revenue.
Here's what you do to fix the problem:
- Start treating social media like a tool that reaches out to customers
- Stop believing it can magically conjure sales, if only you get it right
- Realign your expectations to meet reality
- Create a strategy to build on the achievements of your social media marketing
- Be creative and innovative in how you look to further increase trust and engagement online
In other words, start looking at social media marketing as a link in the chain, instead of the whole chain itself.
How you take your engagement with potential customers that have been reached via social media marketing is up to you. It depends on the type of business you are, the type of products and services you offer, and a whole host of other things.
If you can't think of ways to do it, pay someone who can. The great thing about this type of problem, being directly tied to revenue, is that you can offer an expert an incentivized pay structure, so that you only fork out the big bucks if the strategies they put in place generate big bucks.
What are your thoughts on this analysis of social media marketing? If you disagree, why? How do you explain the dismal failure of social media to drive sales? If you do agree, what are you going to do to improve conversions and drive sales online?
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