Does Social Media Work? An Honest Opinion On Social Media. Is it all Hype?

Does Social Media work? Remember back in the 90s when banner ads were popular? People would get funding just because they owned a website. This was called the .com era where wall street went crazy making money on websites that never had solid fundamentals, just hype. So why do I bring up the .com era? Social media seems to have caught just as much attention from everyone as did the .com era. And I want to give an honest opinion to people who aren’t sure if social media is right for them.

So let’s be clear, Planet Marketing does use social media as a method of communication for our clients. All companies should have some form of social media, but should you be focusing or hiring someone to market it for you or should you do it yourself? Hiring can prove costly. I have seen many companies time and time again hire social media managers when they didn’t need to because of their target audience.

We are going to go over the 3 main social media channels we use for our clients and us. 1) Facebook, 2) Twitter, and 3) Google Plus. There are others like Pinterest. But our expertise is not in image oriented websites. And it has not proven to us nor anyone I personally know as being an effective source for making money.

Facebook – Why should my company be on Facebook? Maybe.

We had a client once who we will not name. It was a pleasure to work with the owner. However, he was a control freak toward his own employees and it reflected in their work. They had about 70,000 Facebook Fans. The owner hired a social media manager and had bought $20,000 in social media software. For many businesses, this amount of money is out of the question.

One of the things we handled for this client was their Google Analytics. After looking at their Google Analytics, they only averaged about 15 sales per month coming from all social media channels. For this company, I told them not to purchase the software. But they did anyway. So that’s $20,000 + $30,000 (employee’s salary) = $50,000 just for social media. That is $50,000 for 180 sales per year. It’s equal to $278 per sale. Meanwhile, their Google Adwords and BingAds had a $75 cost per conversion. Which one was a better area to focus on? For this particular company, social media worked, but not as well as other channels. Always look at your cost per conversion.

We have a client named Ship Overseas, Inc. We love these guys. We run all their internet marketing including social media. For this company, Facebook is not really a money maker. But it is good for branding and communication. We are sure the customers will be back some day in the future, but the business objectives of the company include ROI. For this particular company, Facebook is not good as an advertising channel, only as a method of communication and branding.

Does Social Media Work? Yes!

There are some businesses that should be on Facebook, especially local businesses. Facebook is GREAT for Local Business. Here is a real example. San Diego Cell Phone Repair only fixes cell phones in San Diego. The owner Richard knows that he gets a lot of referrals from past customers. Many of his customers give him a Facebook Like. Once in a while, Richard posts on his Fan Page wall saying the new type of phone or ipad he fixes. This provides branding. One day in the future, his previous customers will break their phone again. He doesn’t have to pay for that branding anymore because the audience is already captured, unlike Google Adwords where they click and never come back.

Here is a better example. Mike’s Pizza is a local pizza shop close to where I grew up. They have NO website! Can you believe it? No website whatsoever. I created a Facebook Fan Page for them and advertised on Facebook Ads zoning in on the zip code where they are located. Facebook Likes came in by the dozen from people who already loved them. Everytime there is a San Diego Chargers game, UFC, or big boxing match, we let their audience know. See, we don’t need to pitch “Buy our pizza, buy our pizza, buy our pizza” for them because it’s obvious what they sell, PIZZA! So why not brand so next time people go to Mike’s pizza and not McDonalds.

Here is a great blog post to read by Matin McDonald title You’ll never sell products through social media. But people will broadcast their experience with your product/service.

Twitter – Why should my company be on Twitter?

I wouldn’t recommend that all companies get on Twitter. But any company that is trying to build relationships with other companies better be on it! We look at Twitter as a completely different audience than Facebook. Twitter has a lot of journalist, marketers, developers, companies, and celebrities. Forgetting about the celebrities, Twitter is the place to be to make professional connections. There is LinkedIn too, but we look at that as more on a personal level. Here are two tools if you are interested in building good connections via Twitter: 1) Followerwonk 2) Social Bro.

Google Plus – Why should my company be on Google Plus if nobody is on it?

Google Plus is growing strong. It’s also a place much like Twitter where you can make professional contacts. Let’s not monkey around here. It’s Google’s platform and your company can get higher rankings which equal more sales.

You want to show up in Google Local and hog up Google? Get on Google Plus and create a company page (much like a Facebook Fan Page). And verify your address. This is what happens:

You want your profile picture to show in SERPs? Fill out your Google Plus information and sync your Google Plus to your company’s blog & it’ll shows like this:

The are many other reasons to join Google Plus besides these two mentioned.

Important things to remember about social media. If your social media channels have not been updated in months, expect that many people are wondering if you are out of business. Here is a true example. I was debating on buying my wife some $250 Prada sun glasses through the internet vs. going to Nordstroms and buying them at retail. There were two things that were of concern to me. 1) Was it authentic Prada glasses 2) Was the website a legit company. I’m not that different than anyone else when purchasing online. Here is why I didn’t choose to buy online from the top companies. I saw that the last Facebook post was about 2 months ago and it made me wonder if they were a real company. I checked their Twitter and there hadn’t been a tweet in 6 months. Although the Prada sun glasses were about $70 cheaper, I didn’t buy them because the website failed to prove their credibility to me.


Further reading: I recommend you print this blog post. It was written by my Google Analytics coach. Print it and study it. He compares himself and big brands. Learn from him. Here is Avinash’s Google Plus.  He has over ¼ million followers. Yes, that’s my coach.

Need ideas on how to grow your social following? Ask below and tell us about your audience and what your company does. Your turn!

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