Home – New Forums Selling online Social media for small business? Is there any point?

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  • #982904
    Sasha3232
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    Interesting topic for discussion! I just read this article.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/04/16/small-business–social-media-facebook/2075123/

    My feeling is that they ones that aren’t experiencing success might need to develop a strategy or adjust their goals…what are your views?

    #1139491
    JoshG
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    I think you’re right when you suggest it’s all about strategy. The misconception is that you can just put up a Facebook page and then wait while the customers (and their wallets) roll in when this just isn’t the case.

    Social media needs to be part of a wider strategy if it’s going to do anything other than waste time. This requires engagement with customers/potential customers rather than a passive social media page that doesn’t interest anyone and just causes people to unlike the page. When it’s done properly it should be driving traffic to the website which should be designed to capture sales or leads with social media helping to keep the business firmly in the mind of the customer while improving the relationship.

    Unfortunately, I see way too many businesses who either lose customers from the Facebook page itself because it doesn’t offer any value, or once the customer reaches the website because it’s badly designed and not filling the customer with confidence. Too much focus on one end of the “funnel” causes the other to collapse!

    #1139492
    Sasha3232
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    I think also sometimes businesses expect the wrong kind of result from their Facebook pages. They expect purchases or an increase in customers via their Facebook page. Sometimes having a page serves a different purpose. It could be about building a following, collecting feedback, staying top of mind for when customers need you, expressing your brand or encouraging word of mouth. You’ve got to be realistic about your goals because it won’t always equate to increased revenue (at least not to start) but that doesn’t mean it’s pointless (imho!).

    #1139493
    JustJames
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    Social is not just FB and the Twits.

    I maintain a presence on revelant online fora, where I can interact with potential customers.

    Be aware though that maintaining such a presence requires staying power, and the ability/willingness to provide genuinely useful info rather than just popping up and yelling “Hey! Buy from me!”.

    The best analogy I’ve come across is that it’s like hanging out at a barbie – you wouldn’t put on the hard sell at a social occasion, so use similar manners online.

    James

    #1139494
    The Copy Chick
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    Regina Hartt, owner of Hartt’s Pool Plastering in Turlock, Calif., says social media hasn’t helped her business because there are too many disreputable companies in the construction business, and no amount of “Likes” on Facebook is going to sway a prospective customer to spend $5,000 to $40,000 on a pool-plastering job. Hartt created a Facebook page for her business over a year ago, but she says out of the 200 to 300 jobs she does a year only three or four come from people who have found the business online.

    Wow… what a missed opportunity. Encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews is exactly the kind of social proof her page would have been ideal for… and even if they’re not “liking” her page and leaving comments, she should be asking for testimonials she can share on her page (as well as before/after photos, etc.). Follow this up with handy tips on how to care for your pool, how to save money in pool maintenance, fun games to play in the pool… etc, and suddenly customers have a reason to like and refer her page.

    Just had a look at their site – which is pretty poor and has no links to their FB page, assuming it still exists (all I could find was this).

    It’s no wonder her online presence isn’t working for her.

    #1139495
    Sasha3232
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    JustJames, post: 159428 wrote:
    Social is not just FB and the Twits.

    James

    Yes, I was using FB as an example

    #1139496
    Sasha3232
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    The Copy Chick, post: 159457 wrote:
    Wow… what a missed opportunity. Encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews is exactly the kind of social proof her page would have been ideal for… and even if they’re not “liking” her page and leaving comments, she should be asking for testimonials she can share on her page (as well as before/after photos, etc.). Follow this up with handy tips on how to care for your pool, how to save money in pool maintenance, fun games to play in the pool… etc, and suddenly customers have a reason to like and refer her page.

    Just had a look at their site – which is pretty poor and has no links to their FB page, assuming it still exists (all I could find was this).

    It’s no wonder her online presence isn’t working for her.

    Exactly! I totally agree.

    #1139497
    Anonymous
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    There are 100’s of different social media platforms to use, like James mentioned, not just Facebook and Twitter. It depends on your customers and product. What doesn’t work well with Facebook/Twitter might totally work for Pinterest or Digg. Have a quick search to see which demographics use which mediums. You can also see which ones your competitors use and see if they are successful in those accounts.

    I don’t like Twitter myself personally but I can see the advantages it has for businesses. So don’t let your personal prejudice affect your judgement concerning social media and your business.

    Eric

    #1139498
    GregNunanAU
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    Maybe controversial, but in my humblest of opinions, don’t bother with anything but Facebook right now. There is only so much you can get done in a week, so you put your effort into where you get the best return.

    It’s the old 80/20 rule. Have an eye to the future in terms of being aware of every form of social media, but if you look at overall social media usage in Australia, FB dwarfs the rest. AND most of the people using twitter, pinterest etc etc etc are all on FB anyway.

    So whilst there are some markets where Pinterest might work really well for example, for the vast majority of businesses, as boring as it sounds, learning FB is the way to go.

    Check this out:
    http://www.adcorp.com.au/Social-Media-Statistics-January-2013-Aust-NZ

    FB useage 51.45% = more than twitter, pinterest, instagram and many others combined.

    #1139499
    Sasha3232
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    Kinetic!, post: 159591 wrote:
    There are 100’s of different social media platforms to use, like James mentioned, not just Facebook and Twitter. It depends on your customers and product. What doesn’t work well with Facebook/Twitter might totally work for Pinterest or Digg. Have a quick search to see which demographics use which mediums. You can also see which ones your competitors use and see if they are successful in those accounts.

    I don’t like Twitter myself personally but I can see the advantages it has for businesses. So don’t let your personal prejudice affect your judgement concerning social media and your business.

    Eric

    I’m confused as to why you think I am ignoring other forms of social media? I was using Facebook as an example.

    #1139500
    Anonymous
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    Sasha3232, post: 159610 wrote:
    I’m confused as to why you think I am ignoring other forms of social media? I was using Facebook as an example.

    Whoops sorry, I was writing in general and not directing it to anyone at all :) I actually read my post again a few minutes after I posted and thought it might look that I was and hoped people didn’t read it that way. Sorry for the confusion!

    #1139501
    Sasha3232
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    HomeBizHub, post: 159599 wrote:
    Maybe controversial, but in my humblest of opinions, don’t bother with anything but Facebook right now. There is only so much you can get done in a week, so you put your effort into where you get the best return.

    It’s the old 80/20 rule. Have an eye to the future in terms of being aware of every form of social media, but if you look at overall social media usage in Australia, FB dwarfs the rest. AND most of the people using twitter, pinterest etc etc etc are all on FB anyway.

    So whilst there are some markets where Pinterest might work really well for example, for the vast majority of businesses, as boring as it sounds, learning FB is the way to go.

    Check this out:
    http://www.adcorp.com.au/Social-Media-Statistics-January-2013-Aust-NZ

    FB useage 51.45% = more than twitter, pinterest, instagram and many others combined.

    I recently read that people spend an average of 8 minutes per month on Twitter and 410 on Facebook. So maybe there is something to what you say! (and yes, experts, I know it’s all about serving different purposes etc!)

    #1139502
    John Templeton
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    It’s reasonably easy to maintain several social media platforms at once – just use HootSuite or something similar. Yes you’re posting the same stuff on the platforms but in doing so you’re extending your reach.

    #1139503
    markn
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    I setup a FB account for my business about 6 months ago and use it primarily as a means of conveying news about my products / company to the fans of the page. It’s not being used for selling at all. As a communication resource I find it much better (and easier to control) than a forum. Some of my customers are using it to contact me with support requests and some customers are posting up spontaneous testimonials. Given the amount of time it takes to run (a few minutes a week at most) I think it’s been well worth the effort.

    Looking through my Analytics results since the FB page was setup there’s been a grand total of about 5 conversions. With my conversion->sale % at about 6% clearly it’s no big money spinner.

    #1139504
    Rick | Visible
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    eStrategyPro.com, post: 0 wrote:
    The survey results in that article isn’t surprising. One of the big picture trend that is happening over the years is that consumers are increasingly resisting marketing.

    I think you mean resisting advertising. If not, please show me where people resist marketing :)

    Social media in general depends more on the type of service/product you have than on the size of the company. Although a smaller company might have a harder time as social media takes time to manage.

    I think it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that a travel agent is more likable than an accountant.

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