Official: Social Networking for Businesses is Dead???

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A recent study conduct by Intellimon suggests that Social Media is an ineffective traffic driver to company websites. 4,000 online businesses were surveyed of which 31.7% rated social networking as “ineffective” or “very ineffective” at driving traffic to their website.

“We were generally shocked by some of the results … ,” Intellimon CEO Paul Smithson said in a statement. “It’s a real eye-opener, even for experienced online marketers.”

The report also said Facebook “is probably best suited for social media marketing on a small scale … ,” but “Twitter will by far give the greatest return on investment than the others.”

Now before we all give up on social media lets take a step back.

We would all love to have our fans, friends and followers click on our links, to comment on all our posts, and just generally to say how fantastic we are. However we all know that’s not how it works.

We need to provide content that is relevant and interesting maybe some of the respondents need to be reminded of the AIDA principle (attention, interest, desire and action).

I personally see social networking as a brand builder rather than a direct sales tool.
When people use social networking they don’t want to be sold to. They want interaction just as they have with their friends. So a link posted with the comment “50% off on all our cakes” simply won’t appeal to many who use social networking.

However if I was to engage and interact with my customers how would I do it?

Here’s a quick example. (By the way I am writing this whole article in order to share this video)

I would post a video may something like this with the comment:

“We may make the most delicious cakes in Islamabad but nothing can be sweeter than this kid…”

YouTube Preview Image

I’m sure you would have far more clicks on this video than a direct link to your website. You could even work you direct sales message into your comments or you could run a whole promotional offer around it by giving a free cup cake to anyone who will sing the song in their store. You could even ask if they would mind being recorded and you could then share the videos on your social networking pages helping to reinforce your brand and you are selling without selling.

A business needs to understand that social networking is not another sales platform but if carried out correctly a brand engagement tool.

[Featured Image Source: Thoughtpick]

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A recent study conduct by Intellimon suggests that Social Media is an ineffective traffic driver to company websites. 4,000 online businesses were surveyed of which 31.7% rated social networking as “ineffective” or “very ineffective” at driving traffic to their website.

“We were generally shocked by some of the results … ,” Intellimon CEO Paul Smithson said in a statement. “It’s a real eye-opener, even for experienced online marketers.”

The report also said Facebook “is probably best suited for social media marketing on a small scale … ,” but “Twitter will by far give the greatest return on investment than the others.”

Now before we all give up on social media lets take a step back.

We would all love to have our fans, friends and followers click on our links, to comment on all our posts, and just generally to say how fantastic we are. However we all know that’s not how it works.

We need to provide content that is relevant and interesting maybe some of the respondents need to be reminded of the AIDA principle (attention, interest, desire and action).

I personally see social networking as a brand builder rather than a direct sales tool.

When people use social networking they don’t want to be sold to. They want interaction just as they have with their friends. So a link posted with the comment “50% off on all our cakes” simply won’t appeal to many who use social networking.

However if I was to engage and interact with my customers how would I do it?

Here’s a quick example. (By the way I am writing this whole article in order to share this video J)

I would post a video may something like this with the comment:

“We may make the most delicious cakes in Islamabad but nothing can be sweeter than this kid…”

YOUTUBE VID

I’m sure you would have far more clicks on this video than a direct link to your website. You could even work you direct sales message into your comments or you could run a whole promotional offer around it by giving a free cup cake to anyone whole sing the song in their store. You could even ask if they would mind being recorded and you could then share the videos on your social networking pages helping to reinforce your brand.

A business needs to understand that social networking is not another sales platform but if carried out correctly a brand engagement tool.

Asif is a Marketing Manager in the UK. His expertise and interests lie in Strategic Marketing, Marketing Communications, PR, Private and Public Sector Marketing, Online and Social Media Marketing. You can visit his website at www.asifafzal.com