Attracting new customers via social networking is an arduous task. There are two ways to attract new business using these mediums, advertising and building connections. In a B2B environment it works wonders because all participants have a common goal, improving their bottom line.
In a B2C environment social networking/social media is not a prospecting tool,it is more of a CRM function. Businesses that look to attract retail customers need to understand that a myspace profile, facebook page and twitter account is best suited for use as follow up tools not lead generation.
B2C organizations can generate revenue in social networking environments and that is the end goal, build a list of raving fans who constantly buy and send new business. Your primary purpose is staying in contact with your customers with social networking.
For B2C organizations who are looking for an quick return on investment social networking may not be the answer. When you are just starting out using these venues you are the same as the green pea salesperson who has no client list. You will also quickly discover that over 70% of your real life connections do not participate in social networking just as the green pea soon discovers that not all of her "friends"
will buy from her.
My business has been completely built using inbound marketing. I have landed clients from my participation here at DrivingSales
, Ralph's ADM
and Car Dealer Social
and many clients have come from referrals via connections in these networks and happy customers. These efforts are not our best lead gen tools, no more than social profiles will be for B2C companies.
Our best lead generation tool is Google.com, Yahoo.com and Bing.com, because we own the right keywords due to aggressive Search Engine Optimization. While SEO is not the only way to bring search engine traffic it is the most cost effective and brings more value long term than search engine marketing.
What we have to understand as marketers who wish to attract new customers we have to go where our customers are. If we were to walk into a dealership and mention the three networks referenced above to the dealer principal or general manager you would get a deer in the headlights look from that decision maker over 90% of the time. I know from from personal experience many do not even recognize the main networking sites and resources such as car dealer marketing on craigslist
other than their IT person has blocked access to them on all of the dealerships computers.
Social networking is real time, what happens today may not be found tomorrow. Robert Scoble
explained that if you want to get into Google and for that content to "stick" the best device is a blog
. I will add that if you want to develop a strong online marketing presence you need to start with search and understand that Social Media is not primarily a marketing function and probably deserves the least amount of attention until you have search nailed.
I pointed this out in a comment at Gary May's blog post about social media
- - 227,636,000 Internet users in the USA as of June, 2009, 74.1% of the population, according to Nielsen Online.
- - Only 75,000,000 US users on Facebook Their Numbers
- - 89% of adult web surfers use search engines. - PEW Internet
- - Facebook is smoking twitter in growth numbers and most users are "cross pollinated"
It would be safe to assume that ratio of facebook users who also use search engines is close to 100%. By not concentrating on search first you are missing opportunities that will never find you in social media. Not to mention the right initiatives in the search arena, a blog, will help fuel your social media exposure.
Still confused by the social media vs search equation? Leave a comment below or feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.
SEGA Systems, LLC
“Without Traffic Everything Fails”
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