First: Social Media is based on relationships NOT volume of friends, followers or fans/likes. There maybe a relationship between the quantity of Facebook Friends and Page likes, but statistically I’ve not had anyone show me traffic logs where traffic spikes from a Facebook click throughs. You can get traffic to your website using twitter and with the properly designed tweets you back links are generated.
Second: Most of the people who promote social media as a business development strategy make their money selling social media consulting. Why is this important to pay attention to? Simple, if you are joining Facebook, Twitter, et al for more business you want to know how it works the quickest and most efficient method. Who better to show you than a Social Media Consultant? Here is the question that I have not had answered as yet: How much business do your clients get? In other words:
- How many escrows have you Realtor® clients closed directly trackable to their social media presence?
- How many new patients have your Chiropractor, Dentist and Cosmetic Surgeon clients received?
- How many appointments have your Plumbing, Interior Design & Financial Planners clients booked?
- I recently spoke to a group of business owners and only about 12% of them could directly track business back to Facebook and other social media efforts.
Bottom Line, how much business have you closed /will you close directly from a social media presence? If the answer is little of NONE then is it a good business decision to hire a Social Media Consultant? I personally hate ROIs of Zero!
Third: What do you find interesting, fun and rewarding? When you sign onto your Facebook , Twitter or LinkedIn account do you care about the people with whom you’re connected? I ask because, if you don’t care about reading their updates, will they be interested in reading your updates? Especially when your updates are only promotional and informational in nature and never personal?
Look at how the kids use social media. The share real, stupid and personal updates about themselves and their lives. You ask who cares? The answer is people who know them. Their friends, parents and family that’s who cares.
Forth: When you use the social media sites, you build their website footprint and not your own. There are millions of people who have joined Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn and each one of these sign ups translates into success for that website not your own.
Why is this important? Because you DO NOT OWN OR CONTROL THE CONTENT YOU POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES. Sorry to shout, but this is very important to understand. The social media site owns and directly benefits from your content NOT you! Not your business. This is the difference between Image Advertising and Direct Advertising. Here’s how. When you post to a social media site, google gives that site credit. The most you get is an atta-boy/girl link back to your site and possibly some curiosity seeker traffic to your site.
People DON’T go to Facebook to buy. People DON’T for to twitter to buy. People DON’T go to LinkedIn to buy. That is NOT the intention of those sites. People do go to Amazon, eBay, Half.com to buy. It’s that simple.
So What! Now What? This seems to be the million dollar question doesn’t it? Here’s what I recommend…
Create your own website which you OWN, CONTROL & Directly Benefit From all of your efforts. This builds an online footprint for you and your business which Google and the other search engines index. Then automatically integrate your content with the social media sites where your community and network will know you’ve updated your site. Then spend your time building your own website and presence.
The biggest benefit I see for Social Media Consultants is having your social media accounts setup and configured for you. These credentials are then used to integrate your dynamic website into your social media accounts. But do you really want a consultant making connections for you and your business?