I awoke this morning thinking about a discussion I had Friday morning with an agency owner that had proposed us to their client as the best provider, based on not only cost but experience and results. Flash back to Friday morning, where on a call with the agency owner, I was told that the client was second – guessing his recommendation because our own Facebook page only had just over 100 Likes. Apparently they stopped their investigation there. Perhaps they didn’t see the link in my email signature inviting them to view my personal LinkedIn profile, didn’t hear my suggestion at our face-to-face meeting that they review my personal recommendations on LinkedIn where I have more than 500 personal connections and 32 personal recommendations. Inbound emails from and banners on my LinkedIn profile page suggest that I’m a social media All-star!
I guess I should explain why our Facebook page may seem lacking. Yes, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is the big boy in social media. They have the most reach. Facebook has also essentially shut of the exposure that a business can get from their page(s). About two years ago they stopped the natural (read FREE) flow of page posts from all business pages such that no matter how many likes your page had virtually no one would witness the great fresh and relevant stories your company may be posting at an ever rapid speed. Why, you may ask, did they do this? Well it has something to do with what every publicly traded company seeks, the almighty dollar. You see without the natural flow of page views previously gained for FREE, from here forward businesses must pay to have their information shown: even to all of those FAKE likes their inexperienced, money hungry, freshly launched Social Media firm had grabbed for them. Please read that as ADVERTISE.
Personally I’ve been an interested spectator in all things internet since the early days. I’ve watched them come and watched them go. I witnessed the birth and stellar rise of Facebook, and the failure of the ever present Google to catch-up and compete with them on social fronts. Our firm was founded as in internet Marketing firm before social media existed as we know it today. Early sites like Six Degrees, and even My Space years later, weren’t necessarily seen as the place that every company needed to be. It wasn’t until national news programs began to announce “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter” after their nightly news cast (seems like a decade ago, but really only a few years back), boldly displaying Facebook and Twitter logos on everyone’s TV screen. Today those requests are much less frequent, and whatever happened to Brian Williams? Maybe he’s busy conjuring up stories to post on Social instead of invading our living rooms every evening with his fantasies.
Yes social is relevant. Yes social can drive business. But not all social media channels are equal for all businesses. Consumer products should try to penetrate the wall Zuckerberg has built between them and their audience of Likes by paying advertising fees directly to Facebook. That is where their audience lives and breathes. Perhaps Twitter, which is no longer the Wall Street darling it once was and is quickly fading on the numbers that count – new user growth and let’s not forget the revolving door installed on their CEO’s office. Or maybe Instagram. The list goes on. The first step in any social media campaign is understanding a client’s business: their customers and where they live and participate in social media. Our company social media channel is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where business people go on social media to find new potential suppliers.
So there you have it. Our focus is on LinkedIn, and in a brief one hour meeting about all aspects of internet marketing can you convey the entirety of what an educated client must know to make an informed decision about the future of their business online. Back to the title of this story, this was today’s headline for Site Pro News “Will Businesses Take Facebook’s Bait This Time?” Coincidental?
Good article on Forbes.com Tuesday that explains the correlations between Social Media and SEO. Have a read.
Important data culled by Bounce Exchange that may shed some light on whether you need to participate more heavily in social media activities or perhaps be antisocial.
How fruitful has your experience with social media been?
Useful data if you;re planning or already running a social media campaign.
Have you been approached to have your Social Media Marketing managed by an outside firm? If not, be prepared. It will happen soon. Just as every mother’s son fancied himself as a website designer 10 and 15 years ago, today the cost of entry into Social Media Marketing is so low anyone with access to a notebook computer can start their own Social Media Marketing company. It will be proposed to you that you need to be posting multiple times every day to your Facebook company page and your twitter account. They will tell you you need to continually reinforce your marketing message to grab the attention of your perspective clients. Their pitch will be so smooth, you’ll have no choice but to accept their offer, and ask them how quickly they can begin.
You’ll have a meeting with your newly hired Social Media Marketing agency where they’ll try to establish your core message(s). From this information they will construct a series of messages that will be uploaded into an automated message delivery service that will blindly go about delivering your message on a predetermined schedule, to anyone willing to follow your page.
We believe that every company should have a Facebook page and that placing some effort into increasing the number of people that “like” your company page and follow your page is worth while. However, the reality of the internet today is that there is so much information available, your message in many cases will not penetrate to your clients (or prospective clients) unless you really have something of interest to communicate. Just like there aren’t enough hours in the day for you to create personal marketing messages and post to your own Facebook account, there aren’t enough hours in the day for the average consumer to take in the wave of information that hits them daily. They are drowned in a flood of messages, many of which have zero value to them. Sooner or later they’ll choose to tune out.
For some businesses social media really can work well. Businesses that have the regular clientele such as restaurants that offer daily specials find social media can really be a great communication tool. The key is saying something that your followers will be interested in on a regular basis to keep them listening.
If social media is right for your business you’ll need to build your audience. There are many ways to do this, and I would suggest that you work as many different angles as possible to gain maximum exposure for your marketing message. Companies offer some sort of award for following them or”liking” them on Facebook: for example back in 2010 Burger K?ng offereda free whopper to anyone who “liked” them on Facebook. This may seem a little extreme; however, it was a quick way for them to build up a following and quickly gain penetration for their social media campaign. Other companies will run a contest for a period of time and giveaway larger prizes to new Facebook “likes” or Twitter followers. In the last few years it’s very common to see companies giving way Iphones and Ipads in such contests.
To succeed on Facebook you have to offer some real value to your followers. Social media experts say that you must stop selling and engage your followers. You need to take part in the discussion.
Interesting to see that despite hype in all directions from various factions in the internet marketing industry, Facebook is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to actually referring visitors to your website. The Shareaholic generated graphic above (shared today by SitePro News staff writer W. Brice McVicar.) shows Facebook referring 3x nearest competitor Pinterest and 18x more than Twitter.
While YouTube may be the king of video hosting sites, few if any users actually leave YouTube and visit the source site. This statistical evidence demonstrates why your video should be published and played only on your own site and shared to Facebook to have the highest potential impact on your website traffic.
I wouldn’t want this data to discourage you from participating in any relevant channel, just to guide you wear your emphasis should be placed for the moment.
As a company supplying internet marketing services to our clients, and advertising these services on the internet, I’m surprised at how many phone calls and emails we get from providers of services that we also supply. The pitch often starts with something like “Do you want your website to be at the top of Google?, a question inevitably followed by your answer, “Yes, of course I do!” Occasionally I’ll have a look at the website of the company offering their service. Through the years what has been most interesting about 99% of all of these solicitations is a common factor inherent in their own websites: they don’t “rank” for anything. They often have zero for page rank and have a limited, or nonexistent link profile. Many don’t even have social media profiles, let alone any social media activity.
Sure, they may point to current client A, who ranks highly for some phrase like “60” purple shoelaces”, but you have no way of knowing how that website actually came to rank for that phrase. Perhaps by accident, perhaps by a well-written preexisting piece of content, perhaps due to actions taken by a previous SEO, who had been terminated, prior to their hiring this current solicitor. Maybe there is no competition for the phrase they use as the sign of their success.
I suggest you look at their own website and if it doesn’t rank for anything, ask why? And don’t accept the old “shoemaker has no shoes” explanation. If they are capable of providing services to you, they should be doing the same for themselves!
As always, buyer beware. SEO is loaded with unskilled and inexperienced practitioners, whose strongest asset is their sales team.
- New Auto Repair Website Launched!
- Is your website keeping pace with Google?
- Web Design & Internet Marketing Infomercial
- New Dentist Website Design Launched
- 30 Second Infomercial
- One Sky Media Door Wars appears to have taken Over at Motor Mania TV!
- Hot Off The Presses – New Accounting Website for Longtime Client
- Commercial for Immediate Release
- Beautiful New Site as we Approach our 10th Anniversary Working Together!
- JUST LAUNCHED – New Mid Atlantic .90 Association Racing website design!