Social Media: Separating Hype from Reality
The Sprocket Report
The “build it and they will come” website hype has long gone. Now experts say social media “fans and follower counts are over.” So has social media run its course or should it still be a line item in your company’s budget? Read on for the latest discussion on social media reality for the small- to medium- business owner.
Direct mail, the kind that the postal service sticks in your mailbox, has only a 1-4% response rate and yet companies still mail postcards, catalogs and flyers all the time. Why do they bother? Because the ROI is worth it. We may have been spoiled by extravagant social media statistics in the past, but that doesn’t mean we should be turning up our noses at today’s numbers. We just need a reality check.
Beyond response rates, social media marketing messages also boast a few plusses such as lifespan, accessibility and website assistance. When a postcard is tossed in the recycling bin, the chances of someone coming across it at a later date are pretty slim, but messages on Facebook or Twitter continue to exist long after they were first posted to be commented on or reposted in the future. And while search engine algorithms are always evolving, it is still true that your social media efforts give your website’s SEO a boost.
When folks tell us “I gave up on social media because it didn’t get me any new customers” we ask them about the rest of their marketing. How many new customers did you get from your name on that Little League jersey? How many from your booth at that last expo? Comparing the ROI statistics from all of your marketing campaigns can be illuminating. Particularly if you have never measured the ROI before.
And if much of your marketing is geared towards brand awareness and reputation, social media should definitely still be part of your plan. When it’s so easy to check into a company online before purchasing their product or service, a business simply must have up-to-date profiles at all the major social media outlets and be responsive to customers who want to engage with them.
Sure, there are plenty of ways to spend your marketing budget. A Yellow Pages listing starts at $49/month. Depending on the size of the paper, a weekly newspaper ad can be $40/month to thousands of dollars per month. The most basic social media services begin around $100/month and go up from there. Measuring the return on investment of your current marketing will help you decide what’s best for your business.
Sprocket Websites is, as the name suggests, a website development firm, but that doesn't mean just your website; our expertise extends to all those other websites out there that may refer to you or have content written by you, like Facebook and Yelp and the many that collectively are called "Social Media." If you have concerns about your current social media marketing, just give us a call. We’re always happy to help!