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The Secret Truth about Social Media

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Let’s face it, you can’t turn around today without seeing an article about how important social media is to your business. But the secret truth is…social media doesn’t make that big an impact on your sales.

OK, you can get up off the floor now. I’m sure you either fell out of your chair reading that statement or rolled on the floor laughing. But before you click away from this article, you might want to read a bit further and learn the truth.

The truth is, the social media myth is BIG business.

A Google search on “social media training” reveals page after page of institutions and individuals ready and willing to take your money and train you how to “optimize” your social media.

A search for “social media services” has the same results. If you don’t want to learn how to successfully deploy social media for your business, they’ll do it for you.

The searches can go on and on, including social media marketing, social media marketing services, again all designed to help you successfully use social media to market your product or service.

But the dirty secret truth is, customers still buy the old fashioned way. They gather information, they compare, they ask friends and family, and then they buy.

A recent Forrester Research article published in 2013 stated that while many of us will look to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for information concerning future purchases; information gleaned from social media had very little impact on the actual buying decision.

In fact, a very small percentage of people attribute information found on social media as helping with their buying decision.

Does that mean we should ignore social media?

Absolutely—Maybe

While social media may not be part as big a part of the sales decision as we’ve been led to believe, it can be part of the overall customer experience. I related a story recently about how I was dissatisfied with the service at a major box store and tweeted my frustration while awaiting a resolve of my situation.

If you read the article you saw that almost immediately I was tweeted back by a company representative. While I didn’t get a great result from the overall experience, I was impressed how the company was very quick to intervene.

In this case, social media can be used as a way to preserve your brand. It helps prevent your company from being “flamed” by a disgruntled customer or client IF it’s unwarranted. It also helps maintain a high Net Performer Score that has proven to be important for top brands. I’ll spend some time on Net Performer Scores in a future article. For more information on NPS, now CLICK HERE.

It’s pretty easy to know what’s happening out there. Just go to Google Alerts and have an alert sent to you anytime your company is mentioned online. This is one little trick to keep your brand on top of its game.

It’s all or nothing with social media

Dan Kennedy’s philosophy, and one I agree with, is when it comes to social media, you need to be all in, or all out. If you brand yourself on social media then you need to keep up with every aspect of your brand.

On the other hand, if you decide social media is too much trouble for the return on investment, stay out and don’t “dabble” with it.

The truth is, social media can be a good thing…maybe not great…or a bad thing for your business. While it may not increase sales, it can help maintain a shining image for your brand.

The question you need to ask yourself is, “What’s my return on investment if I invest in social media ___________ (you fill in the blank)? Sound familiar?

Here’s to your success!

 

What do you think? Is Social Media over-hyped? Let us know by commenting below.

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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