Lately, the powerful backlash against Facebook’s terms of service and particularly the latest issue with the ‘Promoted Post’ feature has lead to a bunch of triumphant cries about the death of social media relevance in relation to business ventures. Business pages on Facebook, for instance are hailed as defunct and bad marketing focuses with pitiable Returns on Investment. The current EdgeRank scandal is a particularly egregious example used by social media detractors. If only 15% of your ‘fans’ on Facebook see your update what point is there in using Facebook for social media promotion?
Social Media Inter Connectivity
While Facebook is not representative for all social media it is nonetheless a big piece of the market share. And this social media inter connectivity that we are accustomed with today is nonetheless a game changer. You can more readily interact with a company on its social media pages. It gives you a forum to voice your questions and complaints, empowering you while giving the business a semblance of democracy. How does this translate into business revenue? It depends.
Social Media ROI
The common complaint from marketing type is that Social Media has a negative ROI, that you pump more money into it than you get out of it. For many companies, especially smaller ones it might be true. It’s definitely true if you also invest into facebook’s ‘Pay to promote’ feature. Any performance based digital agency handling your marketing accounts might draw attention to these facts and suggest alternatives. They might also suggest that you switch social networks for one that doesn’t charge people to post.
These are all good points but they depend very much on your business. If you are a small tech-centric start-up, a social media presence is essential even if you are losing money because of it. Your customers likely are the type that are more likely to ask you a tweet-question than check out customer satisfaction surveys (at least initially). Many young customers often search for a company Facebook or G+ page before entrusting it with their money and they also see a strong social presence as an indicator of how ‘relevant ‘ a product is. One of the best examples of this is the Website and Facebook pages of a French gadget manufacturer called Withings. Withings sells stuff like wi-fi enabled scales and baby monitors. Their Product website is simple and elegant, with a few lines of text and a video describing each product. Their Facebook page, however, is full of videos, public questions, testimonials, promotions and special offers. You’ll be hard pressed to convince Withings that Facebook isn’t worth it.
SEO has changed a lot in the past two years but it is a bit absurd to call the time of death on social media as a marketing tool. In terms of sales, he social networks and their user base are here to stay.