I have a confession to make: having to deal with constant pushback from my elders in the marketing world when it comes the argument of social media effectiveness is nothing short of maddening. And not just a generic level of maddening, mind you, but a pull your hair and want to gouge your eyeballs out with a spork type of irritation. Reason being is that not only has social media proven its effectiveness from its infancy till today, but it also proves to become even more and more effective as time goes on.
So What’s the Problem?
The problem with social media ROI (Return on Investment) is not a problem with the tool itself. The problem lies with the user. The average user simply does not understand how to harness the potential of Facebook, and even if they do, chances are they are still doing it wrong…which is why so many of the older set still believe social media marketing isn’t the most powerful selling and lead generation tool in existence. Regardless, they are still wrong. User error isn’t a good enough excuse. At least, not anymore. Allow me to explain in three simple points.
#1: Facebook Drives All E-commerce in Every Industry
According to marketing experts, analytical gurus and math geeks the world over, over 63% of all e-commerce and lead generation comes from Facebook word of mouth. Why? Because people are listening. At least, when your brand has something worth hearing.
Big box brands and small businesses alike are harnessing the power of social contests, give aways and have mastered encouraging their client base to ‘spread the word’ about stellar products and services they offer. And the consumers happily oblige.
So what’s your problem?
With easy to use apps like Short Stack and a variety of analytical tools available to the rookie Facebook user on a variety of platforms and in at least 31 different flavors, there really isn’t any excuse for any business owner (small or large) to neglect this hard core fact and not bow down to the awesomeness that is this pixelated marketing goldmine.
#2: Facebook Drives SEO
Consumers today are not the consumers of yesteryear. Google ads, Facebook ads and massive marketing collateral pushes no longer cut it when it comes to a successful marketing campaign. Essentially, if you don’t rank organically in Google (and rank well) you are dead to potential customers and area losing the business battle. Currently 7 out of 8 SEO rankings are socially driven. The message from the buying public is simple: Get social or get out of business.
#3: Understand that Your Facebook Business Page Stinks
For those of you who relied heavily on your Facebook business page to drive your business, those days are also gone. As it stands, branded content is down to two percent exposure for pages with over 50,000 fans. If you have less than that, your exposure (without buying ad space) your digital footprint is virtually – no pun intended — non-existent. This translates into something that marketing experts like myself have said for years, you have to engage your client base on a personal level if you want to achieve business success.
A perfect example is looking at how many people follow Mark Zuckerberg as opposed to people who just “like” a fan page. People want to feel connected to businesses and business owners, they want to know who they are and what they stand for. As a business owner, this requires time and interaction on your part. And one of Zuckerberg’s brilliant strategies was creating and managing a fan page for his dog, Beast. With over 1.8 million likes, the public feels connected to this social media icon, based on updates from his cavorting canine. This is ninja marketing at its very best.
A Final Word to Marketing Dinos
Years ago, business was a handshake driven, physical networking entity. Belly to belly was king and everything else was a suggestion. However, in today’s age, it is rare that you will ever secure a meeting, a sale, a lead or a client without establishing a solid digital handshake first. And with Facebook boasting millions of users who log on at an average of five or six times per day, staying top of mind and being interesting online are no longer soft recommendations, they are necessities that every business needs to integrate into their online presence. Because, when it comes to doing Facebook wrong, you’re losing out on 63 percent of your potential customer base, and that shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone.
More from this Contributor:
Six Killer Ways to Use Twitter for Your Business
4 Reasons You Stink at Content Marketing
Your Facebook Business Will Never Work