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Displaying items by tag: social media
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 15:11

Does Social Media Work?

Social Media is the way people communicate, socialize and gather information online. Traditionally, consumers have done this through print and broadcast media like newspapers, magazines and television. However, social media has many advantages over traditional media outlets. It’s relatively inexpensive and fairly easy for both individuals and businesses to publish or access information at will.

• Social networking now accounts for 11% of all time spent online in the US.
• A total of 234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices in December 2009.
• Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million
   tweets per day.

No one can refute that social media has inundated our lives, but does it work? A recent report found that less than five percent of social media users say they regularly turn to social media for guidance on purchase decisions, and only 16% say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites. Yet another recent study found that 71% of tweets generate no response or action at all.

No matter, for every person who says it doesn’t work, there is another who insists that it does. There is much confusion and lack of clear direction on whether social media works or not in helping businesses meet their marketing objectives. Yet, there is concrete evidence that it is indeed working for some.

Tips for using Social Media Successfully:
• Start with a plan: Identify audiences, objectives, define a strategy, tactics & choose measurement  
• Understand your targeted social media channel and its audience
• Target the correct users with your message
• Provide and share interesting, valuable content; educate, inform and entertain – in short ADD VALUE!

Successful social media marketing programs involve both listening and participation. You need to engage users and encourage them to interact with your brand on some level. That participation centers on giving value before expecting anything in return. So how do you measure success? Set pre-goal performance indicators like number of “friends”, increased traffic to site, comments, # of times your message is shared, etc. Perhaps you have another specific outcome that you wish to see occur as a result of your social media participation, like entries into a sweepstakes. No matter what your desired outcome, treat social media marketing similar to traditional marketing in that you need to understand your audience and have a clear communication plan and marketing goals that are measurable. Without planning and measurement, social media can become a big time sucker with no clear benefits.

To better manage your own social media, check out this article “Managing Your Social Media in One Hour a Day.”  For more information on Red Dog Digital’s social media marketing services, contact us today at 800-685-1253.

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