Selling Social Media to Company Executives – Show Me The Money

Further to my recent post on Selling Social Media to Company Executives, for big businessmen, it’s all about the cash.

Show Me The Money!!! as Jerry MacGuire would have said.

However, having said that, how many companies actually have systems in place to measure their ROI (return on investment) on print ads or brochures? Personally, I put a lot of that type of material into my pink recycling sack and I very rarely open my Yellow Pages or telephone directory when I can just type in the search term online.

Being ranked on Google these days as a leading exponent of your product/services means that you have to prove that you are – through good quality, information-filled content – and the delivery system and appreciation mechanism of that content is Social Media. It’s an investment in your business that boosts your profile in a whole variety of platforms, not an expense that you have to keep on repeating just to maintain your position.

If Google can’t find you, then neither can your customers so it’s about building your presence online and statistics show that businesses who blog get 55% more traffic than those that don’t. More blog posts mean more pages for Google to index and, therefore, more opportunities for potential customers to find you.

But what about Google Adwords? Isn’t that the standard way to build traffic? Well, it always used to be but scientists have produced heat maps which show that less than 5% of the traffic from any search results page comes from the paid listings whereas 40% will click on the item at the top of the free organic listings. As consumers, we know that the entries at the top and the side are paid and we automatically shy away from being forced to choose. This is just another exponent of intrusive outbound marketing trying to influence us and our natural instincts persuade us to find a way to avoid such obvious triggers.

However, a well optimised, interesting and informative article or blog post will stay at the top of the organic listings until someone writes something better. Such a document satisfies the needs of both the reader and the Google spiders.

But, having said that, both still rely on the quality of the landing page the reader then clicks through to if it is to convert a potential customer into an active client.

Consumers spend 23% of their online time on social media and blogs.

Youtube has 2 billion views per day and is the second largest search engine after Google. Flickr has 50 million users and over 5 billion photographs are uploaded daily.

86% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and more than 20% of daily Google searches involve local intent.

1 in 3 mobile searches is local and, after looking them up on their smartphone, 61% called and 59% visited that business.

Over 50% of online consumers are more likely to buy from businesses with a blog.

A report by Morgan Stanley in June 2010 showed that online advertising is highly cost effective with the average Cost Per Thousand Impressions as follows:

Broadcast TV $26

Newspaper/Magazine $18

Cable TV $14

Radio $10

Billboard $6

Online $2

Stats courtesy of ReachLocal

However , it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on them, social media campaigns cannot increase anyone’s business overnight – it is a process that requires time and effort. Once you have built a professional presence on these networks and converted your existing customers into fans or followers, you need to keep them interested in your business by updating them on the company news, deals and initiatives because returning customers spend 65% more than new customers do. Then you can monitor the web to find other people talking about your product or industry both globally and locally and use your platforms to encourage them to join your group of followers so you can market to them too.

Listening to the chatter about your product/industry/company enables you to provide much better customer service by dealing with comments both positive and negative in the full light of a public arena. People don’t want to go through a series of menus and spend 20 minutes holding onto the telephone to get a problem solved. They want instant interaction and watching the professional buzz on social media helps companies to do this easily – as well as allowing them to deliver important product updates in one fell swoop.

It also allows a business to keep an eye on the activities and publicity of the competition, as well as measuring the reach of its own message and the number of people who are seeing the brand. The measurement of return on investment (ROI) is heavily relied upon by executives to determine success. In order to assess revenue and profitability from any of the platforms, you have to set a specified series of goals up front and then use the individual platform metrics or centralised Social Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools that have built in analytics.

Whilst the ability to achieve improved customer relationship management is not something you can measure in monetary terms, it is important that the message you are sending out encourages people to buy your product or service. As Pepsi found out to their cost recently, investing in social media is great for clicks and likes for social standing but, if you get the message wrong, you can lose your ranking for market share.

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Who’s Using Google Plus?

With thanks to PR Daily for this infographic on Who’s Using Google Plus.

It looks like it’s mid-range salary males aged 25-34 in the US, followed by their counterparts in India.

It is also interesting to note that, of the 40 million people who have signed up, only 17% are actually active.

However, recent reports have shown that Google Plus posts are starting to appear in the organic search for certain keywords so whether that situation will begin to change as we start 2012 remains to be seen, especially if there is a groundswell of activity from the 61% of business brands who have a Google Plus Business Page.

Certainly the launch of these Pages coincided with a surge in US visits from 5.1 million to 6.8 million.

google plus users

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Social Media For Small Business Infographic

social media for businessFigures from the US on social media for business from Constant Contact, who surveyed 2000 small businesses to investigate their attitudes to social media marketing.

According to their statistics, 81% confirmed that they are now using social media for business marketing and almost half of them revealed that it didn’t take too much time.

It would be interesting to see how UK companies view the medium – particularly the figures for the platform on which small businesses find it most effective to engage customers. Whilst our American cousins gave Facebook 86%, my own experience has been that this figure dropped dramatically after the adaptation of the Edgerank algorithm and the change of usage for small business marketing which meant that they could no longer communicate with those who had liked the page, other than through the Wall.

Even events became a problem area now that it is only possible to issue invitations to personal friends rather than people who have liked the page.

There seems to be a deliberate attempt to separate businesses from their established customer base and push them towards sponsored stories and Facebook ads.

I can only hope that things will improve with Google Plus ramping up the communication possibilities.

Social Media for Small Business

Whilst the big two still retain the high ground for SEO possibilities, when it comes to Social Media for Business, for me, Twitter is becoming a far more effective way to meet and engage with business owners who might eventually become customers. This fact was confirmed by the surveys findings where 60% found Twitter effective in reaching potential clients, up by 13% from the figures they gathered six months previously. The appreciation of Linked In had also increased by the same amount, whereas Facebook had only risen by 4%.

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on Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 at 10:45 am

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Google Places URL shortener

At last, Google have made it possible to easily produce a shortened form of the Google Places page url.

Nyagoslav at OptiLocal has alerted me to the fact that, instead of

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/place?pq=lollipop+localhl=encp=23gs_id=2kxhr=tgs_upl=bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.biw=2304bih=1186um=1ie=UTF-8q=lollipop+local+in+essexfb=1gl=ukhq=lollipop+localhnear=0x47d85627fe870dd3:0x4257cb3847ee5079,Essexcid=9856275402148656621dtab=2action=openratingsei=pXdTToyDFoen8QOK75j-BQsa=Xoi=local_resultct=write-reviewresnum=2sqi=2ved=0CDsQtwQwAQ,

it is now possible to create a shortened form of that url to give to other people.

Click on the map that is situated to the right of the required Google Places page and in the top right hand corner, you will see a chain link.   December 2011 Update – Google have now moved this chain link to the top of the left hand sidebar

url shortener on Google Places

Click that and you have the option to create a short ‘goo’ link that you can save and use for anyone that you would like to direct to your Places Page

url shortener on google-places

Sorted!

Lollipop Local Google Places Page via Google URL shortener

I have been waiting for this for some months now. It’s going to make it much easier to send satisfied customers in the direction of your Google Places page when they ask where they can leave a positive testimonial.

I really hope that this is one of the Google Places changes that sticks around.

Originally posted 2011-08-23 11:47:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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on Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 5:33 pm

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How Americans use Social Media

how americans use social media

This graphic by TweetSmarter was rather interesting as it tends to confirm my own suspicions about how UK residents use Facebook.

It’s not to get access to discounts or coupons or be exposed to products but to keep in touch with old friends and family members who may not live close by.

More and more I come round to the idea that Facebook is for social purposes not business – unless you have an emotional product like weight loss or fitness where the wall acts as a sort of forum for people to encourage each other.

Continue reading How Americans use Social Media