Social Media Results For Brands
In my business, I get the opportunity to examine large quantities check out tons of publications and opinions on social media. I also have the opportunity to speak with quite a few senior level marketing executives who are afraid to get into social media because they feel their company is too conservative. The truth is more likely that they do not amply understand the benefits of social media and how it can be used to drive sales and other desired activities.
I read a blog post today that was talking about how brands can’t wrap their brains around the ROI of social media so they think that social media is still an innovator’s game. I couldn’t dissent more. Social media is one of the most powerful tools every brand should be using today. Not only should they be using it, but also they should dedicate a fair amount of time and resources to learning how to use it effectively.
In my role as CEO of a Social Media Agency, I recently spoke at a convention in Las Vegas. I gave a presentation called “The Top 10 Myths of Social Media,” where I took them through 10 myths/excuses that most brands fall back on when they think of social media. Before I got into the presentation on why they should be using social media marketing, I asked the room “How many people in this room use Google?” Every hand in the room went up. The I asked them “How many people think that their customers use Google to find them or information on related products?” Again, every hand in the room went up. Next question… “How many of you use social media as part of your brand marketing?” perhaps 5 or 6 hands went up. While it was not a big surprise, because I see it all the time, it never ceases to astonish me how many brand marketers do not understand the power of social media for their brands.
As I am sure you know, Google and other search engines index most of the social media sites these days, so all of a brand’s activity drives their Google rankings. In fact, in the not so distant future, if you are not using social media, your brand’s page ranking will be significantly hurt by those that are tangible in the space. While nobody really knows the algorithms that the search engines use, we do know that social media is becoming a bigger factor in them every day. Further, a static website, with no new content will fall in the Google rankings. Google and other search engines love new content and active sites and it gives them a lot of “search engine love.”
So back to the ROI conversation. At a very minimum, social media is a powerful SEO tool that can yield remarkable results in a short period of time. If your brand thinks that SEO and page ranking are important to your business, and I can’t believe what brands don’t, then look at social media ROI simply in terms of SEO. One interesting fact is that 25% or more of the results of a Google search of the top 20 brands in the US point to user generated content…aka…social media. That is astounding an it is growing every day.
Armed with that information, we can move any brand up the search engine rankings very quickly by using social media applications to communicate new and reinvigorated brand information that people want to read. The search engines eat it up and your brand’s customers either get reengaged or engaged for the first time. It is a win-win in the truest sense of the word. You get to tell your story, your customers get more valuable information and your brand gets tons of “search engine love.”
So back to Vegas… The talk was scheduled for 1 hour and after about an hour and 45 minutes of lively conversation, we had answered all of the questions and taken away all of the excuses. By the time I left the room I am pretty sure I had convinced many of the attendees of the power of social media and how they could sell it to their “conservative companies.” I always say that social media today is just like a website and online ad were 10 years ago. Those who took the time to understand the true value and power of the web reaped huge rewards. Those who sat on the sidelines until the other guys did it….well they are like the gamblers at the tables in Vegas…still chasing the dream.