The truth, believe it or not, is much more complicated and could help you better utilize social media to increase revenue.
Social media does offer an abundance of benefits, but it all comes with a price. Also, when you are talking about social media you are talking about relationship marketing which is a whole different animal from more traditional forms of marketing. With social media you are looking to build relationships with people in the hopes they might eventually buy your product, visit your store or speak positively about your brand.
Turning your back on social media is foolish. But think that any social media activity will ultimately help your business or your brand is just as foolish.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Social media is all about building relationships. If you aren’t keeping that in mind with every status update and Tweet, you are missing the Big Picture.
Today, Facebook has more than half a billion active users; Twitter users send more than 140 million tweets per day; and other social media outlets boast millions more logging in every day. That’s an enormous marketing forum, and organizations of all types have invested a fortune into using social media to acquire customers. But does that approach actually work?
Not in the way you might think. Recently, Gallup conducted research with more than 17,000 social media users — evaluating everything from the latest mobile social media apps to old-school word-of-mouth. We discovered groundbreaking new insights into how people interact with social media and into its effectiveness as a marketing tool.
These findings debunk three big myths regarding social media: that it effectively drives customer acquisition, that social networkers are all the same, and that social networking is an online-only phenomenon. But more important to companies spending tons of money on social media initiatives, Gallup’s research also suggests practical actions that can make these efforts more effective.
Myth: Social media initiatives drive customer loyalty and acquisition.
Fact: Engagement with a brand drives social engagement.
This first myth cuts to the core of what organizations want social media initiatives to accomplish: getting new customers and keeping existing customers. Yet according to Gallup research, brand-sponsored social media initiatives have very little impact on consumer decision making. Nor do they drive prospective customers to consider trying a brand or recommending a brand to others in their social network. (See graphic “Key Influences on Customer Decisions.”)
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