The Internet makes marketing really easy. You can create a Facebook page (for free). Blogs are free (or low-cost with your own domain). So is commenting on posts, interacting on Google+, or Twitter, or Klout. All free.
The only cost is time. And woo hoo, look ma, I’m marketing!
I realize that everyone may not like this post, but here goes.
Likes Are Not Currency
Is liking on Facebook really marketing? What about encouraging other people to “like” your page? Does the time spent there (or on other social networks) get you anything tangible? Can you tell?
A Fleeting Reward
“Likes” or “+1s” are easy. Your visitors click once, they leave, and then they forget the whole thing ever happened.
I’ve seen large companies spend millions on campaigns along the lines of “hey the new ___ movie just came out, like us on Facebook if you like the movie.”
Same thing with a Klout score. Yes, they add goodies and prizes as you reach different levels of “influence.” But really, couldn’t you go out and buy yourself most of those things?
Real Social Media Marketing
The real measure of a marketing effort isn’t the number of “likes” it gets. They’re not a measurement of success. They don’t lead to anything that really matters for a business, particularly a small to medium business. Large companies can afford to waste their money that way. You can’t.
If you are going to use Facebook or other social networking sites, use them with a better strategy.
Do something that leads to a direct return on your effort and time. Run a survey (with a free report on the results to the participants. Use that information to create new products or services.
Run a series of ads offering a solution to a problem your clients have, with a link to get more information on the product.
Measure, Measure, Measure
How many clicks did you get? How much did each click cost you?
How many of the people who clicked signed up for your newsletter? Or filled out your survey? Or turned into a lead for further follow up?
Can you follow it through a sales process? How many of those leads turned into a sale? What was the return you got on the ad money you spent?
Measure, and track, and you’ll know if your efforts are worth their weight in gold (or just lead).