Social Media Is Not the Answer to Everything

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I am so tired of hearing about social media.

Chanting social media over and over again does not generate qualified leads, nor convert prospects into customers any more than the incantation jobs, jobs of the current Administration puts people back to work.

Those that don’t quite see the bigger picture remind me of the valiant but somehow vapid Occupy Wallers out there: yes, we know you’re sitting around waiting for change

And?

I’m back in high school, in AP Language or Lit and the million-dollar question hasn’t changed: So what? What does said passage, story mean? What’s the takeaway? What now?

school for the gifted Gary Larson comic cartoon the Far Side

Without vision, purpose and a clear understanding of what you want and the sacrifices you will have to make to get there, how can you come up with viable solutions that motivate others to take action? 

Social media, for the umpteenth time, is only a tool. A means to achieving an end. Those with a hybrid, integrated approach view SM as a single piece of the marketing mix.

Social media and great content are only the beginning. How will you share? Who will you share it with? Why? When? Yada yada.

Though I have quite a few, this is one of my favorite passages from Paul Roetzer’s release of chapter 2 from his upcoming Wiley book, The Marketing Agency Blueprint:

Content should be crafted for visitors, but optimized for search engines. 

Rand Fishkin, main man of SEO, recently shared this. And as always, it is nasty. And timely.

HubSpot and Halligan: Content, Sponges and A Lifestyle of Learning

CLEVELAND –

Among other things – eye glasses, sheet music, a good book or new bottle of wine to name a few:

I’m a geek about this whole inbound and content marketing movement, driven by HubSpot out of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Here’s a brief rundown, according to HubSpot’s Marta Kagan:

1. 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
Which means your website’s often the first and only impression a prospect will have of your brand/company.

And that your new business card isn’t a business card—it’s Google. (I used to think I was the only 25-year-old without one — but perhaps it’s the reverse now…)

2. In the past year, Web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among 12-17 year olds, who prefer to communicate via text, instant messaging, and social networks.

May not have an immediate impact for your business, but implications for the future and your target audience? Pretty crazy. Essentially they won’t be reading your emails.

To add to that, Millenials and Gen XY spend 60% less time watching television than their adult counterparts — and 600% more time online, according to Joe Pulizzi (Get Content, Get Customers).

The days of email blasts absent direction and interruption marketing continue to spiral into obscurity — people simply aren’t tuning in anymore.

The question is how are you reaching your audience, and — when you have their attention –how are you providing value and content that establishes loyalty and trust?

What is it that makes your network spend time on your site, blog, read new posts, subscribe or watch your videos? Content is your key differentiator.

3. 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email.

4. 40% of US smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item.

5. 200 Million Americans have registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
That’s 2/3 of the country’s citizens. The other 1/3 likely don’t have a landline anymore.

6. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted-in to.
We’re more tech-savvy and less patient with unwanted solicitations. And it’s just so easy to hit ‘delete’ (or unfriend, unfollow).

7. 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.

8. 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog.

Once again, blogging’s great. Intrusive ads, nay.

9. 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.
If this stat doesn’t poke a hole in the “Facebook is not useful for B2B companies” myth, Kagan says she’s not sure what will.

10. The number of marketers who say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased 83% in just 2 years.
That’s right—critical or important. When a channel generates not only leads, but real revenue, you can’t call it “experimental” any longer.

11. Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic.
The more you blog, the more pages Google has to index, and the more inbound links you’re likely to have. The more pages and inbound links you have, the higher you rank on search engines like Google—thus the greater amount of traffic to your website. Again: Blogging is good.

PR 20/20’s Tracy DiMarino recently mentioned more than 90 percent of purchasing decisions begin online (Forrester Research), and there are 34,000 searches conducted on Google every second

Of those searchers, 75 percent never scroll past the first page of results (The Case for Content Marketing: Sources and Stats)

12. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
That’s right—62% less. The average outbound lead costs $373. The average inbound lead costs $143.

A HubSpot mantra: “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Outbound marketing just don’t make sense anymore.

The startup’s bread and butter is equally transparent: Get Found, Convert and Analyze. These three actions are the fundamental tenants of any good internet marketing campaign.

The challenge – and opportunity, is getting started. In life and online, you truly get out of it what you put into it.

As Joe Pulizzi challenged us in the recent workshop at Hyland Software: What does success look like to you? 

I am Still Learning (Michelangelo)

TopRankMarketing Daily features Getting Lost to Find Answers

Thanks to all of you, TopRankMarketing.com Daily listed my article under Education on its page today: Getting Lost to Find Answers.

Here’s the archive link: http://paper.li/toprank/2011/02/01 and original Twitter post. Thanks again for reading and sharing!

TopRankMarketing.com@toprank TopRankMarketing.com

The TopRankMarketing.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/bmtnkw ▸ Top stories today by @byron_fernandez @vintageozarks@mollyblock @vbpickett
1 Feb via Paper.li