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Does social media marketing actually work?

  • Thread starter EmployEasily Legal Services
  • Start date
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
We all probably do it in some form or another - posts on forums, blogging, Twitter, etc but apart from generating backlinks to your website does it actually work for the average business?
 
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sheilaenn

New Member
If by "works" you mean "generates new sales", companies should be aware that it's a very slow burn to engage on social media.

Short-term, non-sales benefits will be realised and these are also useful -- like increased visibility for your own name and your company name on Google simply by commenting on blogs and signing your name with your post. Chances are anybody wanting to do business with you is going to Google you; think how much better it would be if the whole first page of links on Google contains links to comments you've left around the web, displaying your knowledge (and your generosity of spirit in sharing that knowledge) on public spaces.

Most effective of all is building a blog of your own -- where you write about how you solve your clients' problems and offer as much free advice and insight as you can. This will earn you credibility and respect that will eventually influence the buying decision. This advice comes from the brilliant Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad, who answered lots of blogging best practice questions last Friday. http://www.facebook.com/socialmediaexaminer#!/smexaminer?ref=ts

Sheila Averbuch -- ENN
 
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nsdesign

New Member
Agree with sheilaenn that if you're going into Social Networking to try and make a quick buck - it won't work for you... It's about so much more than immediate sales... Sites like Twitter and Facebook etc - they are simply tools to help you build relationships...

The example I tend to give is related to "real world networking"... you don't go to networking events, and leave with your pockets stuffed full of cash... you leave with the beginnings of a relationship with a few people, which when developed over time, leads to a lot more than just sales....

Gary
 
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nsdesign

New Member
We all probably do it in some form or another - posts on forums, blogging, Twitter, etc but apart from generating backlinks to your website does it actually work for the average business?
Just saw that you're Glasgow based... at the risk of sounding like a spammer, maybe consider coming to one of our forthcoming Social Media for business workshops? Some dates at Social Media Marketing - Consultancy and Training in Glasgow with others (including a number of workshops in partnership with Business Gateway) to be announced very shortly...

Gary
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I came across a very good article today regarding this which i've linked to below.

Social media strategies require total commitment, say experts - V3.co.uk - formerly vnunet.com

I bought a really good book recently from a chap named Brad Burton called "Get off your arse". Brad is the brians behind 4networking which has had an amazing rise to fame in networking circles over the past few years. One of the main things Brad speak about is the process of Meet > Like > Know > Trust which I think is a great starter.

You will never get past stage two with social media in my opinion as business relationships need to go offline at some point. I make a point of meeting as many people I can from here as I think even the forums can only do so much (I would point out however that I do see forums in a slightly different way to Facebook or Twitter).

SBF have a fairly decent following on Twitter but I dont actually know why because the complete opposite is true on Facebook where we have very little presence. What is becoming clear as the article above points out is that to do it will is requiring more and more investment to cut through all the noise that things like Facebook and Twitter create. Like Sheila says it's a slow burn and from what I can see the return on investment is far from guaranteed.

Just my 2p
 
Canary Dwarf

Canary Dwarf

New Member
Too many people think it's a magic bullet or red pill. As Sheila and Gary point out. social media doesn't generate cash, it generates confidence and trust.

It will have different benefits for different industries, and the key its successful implementation is understanding how it can benefit yours.

For example, publishers are using it to distribute news without any direct financial return. It's new method that just speeds up what they've done for hundreds of years... getting news out before their competitors.

For marketing it brings new tools to solve old problems, measuring reach, demand, effect.

For customer care, it opens a window on what people are saying about products, brands and services in a way never previously imaginable.

Email is still one of the best marketing tools out there, yet so many companies don't use it for marketing. And millions will continue to miss the opportunities social media offers.
 
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sheilaenn

New Member
We all probably do it in some form or another - posts on forums, blogging, Twitter, etc but apart from generating backlinks to your website does it actually work for the average business?
By the way, I'm not sure if you're already doing this, but do you buy the concept of social media being a place to give freely of your expertise, and develop a reputation as somebody who is a giver? I believe in this -- and I'm sure virtually every company, especially professional services organizations such as yours, has a great deal of value they could give away free in the form of blog posts or downloadable guides.

Sheila Averbuch -- ENN
 
Tim Barlow

Tim Barlow

New Member
Wonderful motivational type poster that I saw somewhere online last year:

"Blogging: Never has so much been said by so many to so few"

However, I'm a huge fan of blogging and social media. I have built some very strong relationships as a result and have both given and gained business as a result.

Social media, whilst a horrible phrase, is still very much a growing phenomena and it's true power is only starting to unfold IMHO.

One problem with it (at least for me who comes from a search marketing background where I am used to pretty accurate measurement) is that it is less easy to track the business generated. The spend X here, get Y there equation doesn't really exist as the equation is spend 3(A) + 0.3(B) + 2(C) etc etc = Y distributed over a longer period of time. That doesn't mean that Y isn't worth having though.
 
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sheilaenn

New Member
One problem with it (at least for me who comes from a search marketing background where I am used to pretty accurate measurement) is that it is less easy to track the business generated. The spend X here, get Y there equation doesn't really exist as the equation is spend 3(A) + 0.3(B) + 2(C) etc etc = Y distributed over a longer period of time. That doesn't mean that Y isn't worth having though.
Hi Tim,

You probably know of Dan Zarrella? he's all about measurement in social media marketing -- I'm reading his book at the moment and it's a good user's guide to all types of social media. Dan Zarrella, Social Media Marketing and Viral Marketing Scientist His site might have some measurement related posts that interests you.

Sheila Averbuch - ENN
 
Tim Barlow

Tim Barlow

New Member
Hi Sheila,

I agree that there is no shortage of things that can be measured in social media, the reality though is that all the metrics fall short of the all important pounds spent, pounds gained (except at a very macro level). Mr Ford would no doubt have said "I know half of my social media works, I'm just not sure which half" (even if you do know which half results in more sharing/visits to websites etc)
 
Adventurelife

Adventurelife

New Member
I have been playing and experimenting with it for a wee while now. We do not have huge followings on twitter or facebook or any other of the more industry specific sites I use.

I measure and so far my return has far out stretched by spend which is less that £100. SM is now our fastest growing sales channel. Still small compared to other routes but fast growing enough to encourage me to recruit someone to manage it, if I can find somebody who can actually demonstrate that they know about t which so far has been difficult.

The hype is over hype that is for sure, the vast majority of the experts are not experts that is for sure just ask them to show results in £. It is also going to get bigger that is for sure. I was with a major german travel company last week who are now producing more leads and sales via sm than ppc. Their website still beats sm hands down but like my own business they see sm becoming a major part of now and certainly of the future.

Unlike seo their is not set systems for sm each route will be different for each company. Get involved and play and measure, do not ignore but do not become hooked at the same time it is just part of the mix
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
Just saw that you're Glasgow based... at the risk of sounding like a spammer, maybe consider coming to one of our forthcoming Social Media for business workshops? Some dates at Social Media Marketing - Consultancy and Training in Glasgow with others (including a number of workshops in partnership with Business Gateway) to be announced very shortly...

Gary
Hi Gary - I've been attending the New Media Breakfasts at 29 in Glasgow and have found them to be very informative but am always keen to learn more so please send me some details of your workshops.
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
By the way, I'm not sure if you're already doing this, but do you buy the concept of social media being a place to give freely of your expertise, and develop a reputation as somebody who is a giver? I believe in this -- and I'm sure virtually every company, especially professional services organizations such as yours, has a great deal of value they could give away free in the form of blog posts or downloadable guides.

Sheila Averbuch -- ENN
Hi Sheila - when it comes to things like forums, article submissions and our blog, I completely agree with you and try and make sure my posts are informative, helpful and add value for readers and have happily contributed to 's Business Toolbox.

Having been an active member on SBF for some time, the only one specialising in employment law / HR, I hope I've contributed positively (notwithstanding the odd 'spammy' post :blushing: - sorry) and would like to think that when regular members think 'employment law advice' they think EmployEasily HR......:001_unsure:
 
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nsdesign

New Member
Hi Gary - I've been attending the New Media Breakfasts at 29 in Glasgow and have found them to be very informative but am always keen to learn more so please send me some details of your workshops.
Indeed - Gordon and Kyle (and the podcastmatters team) do a great job in helping spread the "good word" of social media to the masses... what they do really well is focus on something quite specific each time.. I've been to a few myself, so probably passed you at the bacon rolls ;)

We've actually just agreed new dates to run more workshops via business gateway, with the next ones on:
Paisley - Tuesday 27th April
Clydebank - Thursday 29th April
(times likely to be 6pm - 9pm).
I'll get details of these up on our site asap, (as soon as bgateway make the online booking live),and I'd be delighted to see you there...

Gary
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
Indeed - Gordon and Kyle (and the podcastmatters team) do a great job in helping spread the "good word" of social media to the masses... what they do really well is focus on something quite specific each time.. I've been to a few myself, so probably passed you at the bacon rolls ;)

We've actually just agreed new dates to run more workshops via business gateway, with the next ones on:
Paisley - Tuesday 27th April
Clydebank - Thursday 29th April
(times likely to be 6pm - 9pm).
I'll get details of these up on our site asap, (as soon as bgateway make the online booking live),and I'd be delighted to see you there...

Gary
Sounds good Gary - I'll check my diary and then jump on to your website.

btw - will try to pop by and say hello at new start scotland event tomorrow.....saw you had a stand.
 
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