Like most entrepreneurs, I approach social media profiles from a strictly business perspective. I advertise my articles, my listings as a real estate professional, my book, I network with other professionals, advertise events, and update with what I consider to be valuable industry information religiously. With the saturation of this type of branding though, I’ve been wondering lately if marketing like this actually works.
Nowadays, it’s become common place to see the ads strategically placed on the right hand side of my Facebook profile or the “Sponsored” trending topics on Twitter, but I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever clicked in to one of these advertisements, and apparently I’m not alone. According to customer satisfaction analytics experts, ForeSee Results, who surveyed 300,000 consumers on more than 180 websites across a dozen private and public sector industries, reported that fewer than 1 percent of website visits come directly from a social media URL. So, when it comes to how much money I’m willing to invest in this type of marketing, I’m a bit confused.
Granted, most social media advertising techniques cost nothing but time. Setting up a Facebook page costs nothing, and if you can build up a solid fanbase of “Likes” from relevant and possible consumers, than you have a direct line to speak to people who can influence the bottom line of your business. But as far as the paid advertisement spots on these social media sites, I’m still not convinced that this investment would result in actual money being made for my company.
Of course, there’s also the concept of brand awareness, and any entrepreneur knows the worth of a recognizable brand. Perhaps the key with social media marketing is getting your name out there enough times to enough people so that when they do require the services you provide, your name will be front of mind and, even more than that, you’ll probably be pretty easy to find.
I’m not sure what the balance is exactly between how much energy and resources to put into social media marketing and how much return to expect in terms of website traffic, brand awareness, or sales, but I have a feeling it’s just like any other channel. There’s no panacea here – just another marketing tool that we’ll all need to grasp and learn and use appropriately for our business needs.

1 Comment

  1. Jackie Bourne Reply

    When you pick a technology product, you don’t buy it for the marketing. You buy it for what needs and problems you have to solve.

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