Autospeak-Straight Talk contains articles covering digital and social media marketing social communities and events marketing
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The Future of Traditional Advertising

(Posted on Jan 6, 2015 at 03:17PM by William Cosgrove)
The following infographic by Fusion 360 shows just how powerful an impact social media is having on overall digital marketing spend.

US Digital Media Ad Spend will reach 61.4 Billion by 2017 and with social ads already performing 58 percent better than ad exchanges the rapid advancement of new technology is already changing and will eventually mean the death of traditional advertising as we know it along with the traditional channels used today to broadcast it.

What are your thoughts?

(Source: Fusion 360.)
Originally posted at AllTwitter

Your Most Precious Online Marketing Resource

(Posted on Nov 1, 2014 at 12:41PM by William Cosgrove)
Have you read “Social Media Marketing Is A Dying Business Model” by Nikki Majewski ? The post covers a discussion at the at the 2014 National Radio Conference by Jules Lund who explains why organic social media marketing is a dying business and what he thinks it will take to succeed.

We all know that Facebook has been at the forefront of instituting paid social media content by drastically reducing the reach of organic content but the writing is on the wall because most other social networks are also experimenting with paid content.

The potential reach of these networks makes them places where businesses should have a presence but the bottom line is that you should never be totally dependent on outside forces over which you have no control.  There are sound alternative ways to capitalize on this by using the assets within your control in conjunction with and as part of a diversified marketing plan.

With social media channels bringing in a new era of pay to play and taking more control over the social media playing field this is a subject that needs to be addressed to find other avenues that can foster autonomy and provide stability and permanence in this changing virtual landscape of online marketing.

Regardless of the direction that the social media marketing giants or the online industry as a whole may eventually take and change through new technology there is a way to insure consistency, autonomy, online presence,  and potential reach and that is by “Marketing From Ground Zero” which starts by having a  community member platform on your website  that you can utilize and adapt to all prevailing winds and turn an existing company resource- your existing customer base- into advocates and influencers as an anchor for your online marketing strategy.

An onsite community can be the jewel in the crown of your online marketing and act as “ground zero” to fuel your overall marketing initiatives. Unlike paid advertising that is fleeting and exits only as long as you are paying, an onsite community is an asset that endures and can provide a solid foundation to continually produce benefits to both you, your existing and potential customers.

No matter what industry you are in an onsite community can create a customer centric culture and provide consistency that will resonate across all your paid, social and owned media channels. And no matter what direction social media marketing takes these communities will act as conduits to reach and attract an audience that can know and understand you and will result in increased brand perception and engagement.

Communities also become data centers for learning the needs, concerns and actions of its customer base through diverse interaction creating a virtual ecosystem that feeds on itself.

There are many different forms that an onsite community can take and each one can be customized to fit each businesses particular needs. In lieu of or in addition to paying professional market influencers you can create ways to make your own customers advocates and influencers by rewarding them with special discounts, offers, drawings and contests for community members along with content and a forum for communication that will keep members (customers) engaged and informed that will pay big dividends in retaining existing customers and attracting new ones for your business.

With social organic reach fast becoming a distant memory as social networks and online advertisers seek to profit from their platforms not to mention the countless vendors vying for your limited resources with the next panacea that will take you to the top “ It is time to Look Within”  to seek alternative ways in which to effectively reach and draw audiences to build a permanent foundation that can provide extremely cost- effective ways to control your own destiny and solidify your place for the long term in the online marketing industry.

By William Cosgrove

3 Steps to Launching a Successful Contest Campaign

(Posted on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:46AM by William Cosgrove)
By MAURA RODGERS  Co-Founder at Strutta

Contests are an incredibly effective entry point to building loyal relationships with consumers. Whether they’re hoping to win concert tickets or submitting their favorite travel photos, consumers are more inclined to connect with your brand if they’re rewarded for doing so.

To entice your customers to connect with your company, we’ll delve into:

  • How to target the right customers and pinpoint where those customers spend their time.
  • How to take advantage of each platform (and other tools that can help you make the most of them).
  • How to craft your contest — and your prize — to attract an audience.
Crate & Barrel, in an effort to engage consumers online and drive gift registry creation, hosted an Ultimate Wedding Contest. It asked newly engaged couples to upload photos and share their stories for a chance to win a $100,000 dream wedding. As a result, they gained $35 million in gift registries, 16,000 entries, 500,000 votes, and more than 3 million page views.

However, you don’t have to be a big brand to reap the benefits of social promotions. Small businesses, nonprofits, and established companies can use contests to spark more meaningful conversations with their audience. Here’s how to make contests work for your brand:

1. Determine what success looks like.

Creating a promotion is easy, but as with any marketing initiative, you should:

  • Define your goals. What do you want to get out of your contest? Do you want to drive leads, “likes,” or sales, boost engagement, or reward your existing audience?
  • Understand your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What motivates or interests them? Where do they spend their time online?
2. Choose the right social media channel.

Once you define your goals and understand where your audience spends its time, you can determine which social media channels are right for your campaign. Here are four sites to consider:

Facebook: Facebook is making it harder than ever for brands to reach and connect with fans organically — the social media platform recently changed business pages’ organic reach, ostensibly to even the playing field for small businesses. This means it may become more expensive for some brands to land on users’ News Feeds. With 1.23 billion monthly active users, however, it’s still a channel worthy of your consideration.

The businesses that find the most success on Facebook are the ones that tie their contests into their customers’ personal interests and habits. But remember that you want users to engage with your brand’s offering — not just attract lots of “likes.” This concept will truly apply to marketers in the next three months, as Facebook recently announced its decision to kill business’ ability to incentivize Facebook users with a contest prize in return for a “like.”  Although the news came to some marketers’ displeasure, this change will rid brands of empty Facebook fan bases — people who want a contest prize, but have no real interest in your regular services or products.

Take a look at this contest from Eggo, which asked participants for their best recipes using Eggo waffles. The contest promoted the brand’s waffles through tasty-looking photos, asked users to share voting links with friends, and recommended that voters try making the recipes prior to voting — a subtle call to action to attract more buyers.

Instagram: With more than 200 million users and 60 million photos uploaded daily, Instagram could be the right channel for you if you’re looking to garner unique, user-generated content. Your Instagram campaign can be as simple as asking your audience to answer a question or upload a photo with a unique hashtag.  

Instagram is particularly appealing for contests because all it asks of participants is that they click on images, which fuels brand awareness. To promote its “Untamed Americas” series, National Geographic Channel hosted an Instagram contest that asked fellow Instagrammers and explorers to submit photos that fit with the show’s theme. The prizes — cameras, a Glif, Nat Geo swag, and “Untamed Americas” DVDs — attracted exactly the demographic that the company wanted to engage with on Instagram.

Twitter: Unlike other social channels, you can have your Twitter promo up and running in minutes; with more than 575 million users, there’s potential for large-scale success. Be sure to include a unique #hashtag and @reply to effectively monitor conversations, track entries, and communicate with your audience.

Gear your efforts toward Twitter on the weekends (when engagement is 17 percent higher), make sure to use one or two hashtags (which will double your engagement), and ask for retweets (which can multiply your number of retweets up to 23 times). Over the Rainbow did a great job of seeking casual, funny entries for its “Mom Jeans” Twitter contest, asking followers to tweet the worst examples of Mom jeans — with the absolute worst example winning a makeover.

Pinterest: Companies like Anthropologie frequently host #PinToWin contests, asking consumers to upload images and create pinboards with their favorite items from the catalog. Participants need to disclose that their boards are entries in a promotion to comply with FTC guidelines.If you’d prefer to drive traffic to your domain, a contest microsite or an iFrame promotion on your website may be your best bet.

Sony did a great job of promoting its version of a “Pin It to Win It” campaign, placing a variety of its products on its “Pin It to Give It” board. Each time an item was repinned, the brand donated money to the Michael Phelps Foundation. This not only enhanced Sony’s product awareness but underscored its desire to give back, making it stand out in a sea of similarly positioned contests.

3. Use simple third-party tools.

After you choose your channel, you can then create, launch, and manage your social campaign using the following tools:

SaaS social promotions platform: The right platform will make it easy to build and share your promotion across multiple social channels as well as ensure fairness, identify brand advocates, and measure the effectiveness of your overall campaign.

Google Analytics: A free tool to help you measure the success of your promotion, Google Analytics uses specific UTM codes to examine where your traffic is coming from and track your conversions.

A unique hashtag: This encourages conversation and brand recognition and tracks engagement. Before launching your promotion, do a search on Twitter or to make sure your campaign hashtag isn’t already in use.

Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, or Promoted Tweets: Once you launch, a targeted ad campaign can help raise awareness and drive traffic to your online promotion.

MailChimp: Add new leads who join through your promotion to your database to stay in touch after your contest has ended and nurture these relationships in the future.

Buffer and HootSuite: Social media dashboards allow you to share posts on multiple channels, track mentions, and actively participate in the conversation around your promotion.

By following these three steps, you can easily create and launch a fully branded social campaign that helps grow your audience, boost engagement, and provide you with the opportunity to turn a “like” into a long-lasting relationship. How have you used contests to engage customers?

Reposted from SteamFeed

What is Influence Marketing To You?

(Posted on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:46PM by William Cosgrove)
I was out for an afternoon walk recently and was walking along the edge of a wooded area when a maturing fawn with its fading white spots ran up to within 20 feet of where I was standing.  I was so influenced by its natural beauty and the wonder I have for all things wild that I could not move and somehow felt connected to that young deer and could not wait to share my experience.
The influence this young deer had on me is just one of the many ways we have been being influenced and influencing for millennium. The internet being a fairly recent addition offers a host of new opportunities to influence others.
Through an active online presence of blogging, commenting, participating in forums and on social networks or through word of mouth we all are in a way looking to influence and find influencers. Those that are actively involved in particular areas may be researching, simply voicing opinions or trying to draw attention to a product or service albeit from a positive or negative aspect.

Using influencers to increase market awareness among target markets is a method that can increase your visibility and culminate in getting known in circles that can have a huge impact on one’s success.

All of us who are actively involved in social networking whether it is online, offline or a combination of both are all looking to influence others to further ourselves and or our business in some way.

Getting noticed by these influencers whether it be a decision maker in a company with whom you would like to do business, one who is well connected with key people in your industry or a current or potential customer can often act as an accelerator for business.

According to Wikipedia, Influencer Marketing, as increasingly practiced in a commercial context, comprises four main activities:

Identifying influencers and ranking them in order of importance.

Marketing to influencers to increase your awareness within the influencer community

Marketing through influencers, marketing with influencers and turning influencers into advocates of the firm.

Influencer marketing is enhanced by a continual evaluation activity that sits alongside these four main activities.

 In many circles it has become increasingly accepted that companies should be identifying and engaging with influencers. Exactly what is included in Influencer Marketing depends on the context (B2C or B2B) and the medium being utilized.

Marketing experts Keller and Berry note that “Business is working harder and paying more to pursue people who are trying to watch and listen less to its messages." Targeting influencers is seen as a means of amplifying marketing messages, in order to counteract the growing tendency of prospective customers to ignore marketing.

Onsite social communities are an extremely effective and low cost method in which to engage with and gain valuable knowledge from influencers both in B2C and B2C.
It is making more and more sense to have an onsite community. According to recent data form  33Across, in a recent article at MediaPost “Dark Social” or private social represents 71% of all social sharing. Enlisting employees, current and potential customers can be very effective in getting your message out and to reach this private social community.

Onsite social communities act as ground zero to allow businesses not only to connect, follow and be followed by existing and potential customers but also to engage with their employee base. This is a centralized non-intrusive way in which to communicate with, retain and turn your existing customers and employees into marketing influencers and brand ambassadors.

It is said that one in every 10 Americans is what they call an "influential." These people have a tremendous impact on the rest of society because their ideas and opinions are sought out by the colleagues, friends, family, and community members around them. The conversations they hold and the examples they set have the power to shape behaviors and attitudes across your digital marketing and social media channels.

Based on this statistic, how many untapped influential customers or employees might already be in your database or working within your organization? And with a one in ten chance of finding an influencer and making them an advocate for your business through an onsite community it is an economical avenue worth pursuing that can provide substantial long term rewards and help you adapt to trends in social networking.

William Cosgrove

Enlist Consumers As Brand Ambassadors In 'Dark Social'

(Posted on Aug 20, 2014 at 01:31PM by William Cosgrove)
By Tyler Loechner a reporter for Media Post
Madison Avenue is swimming in “dark pools,” and consumers are turning the lights off themselves, at least in social.

Speaking at the Mobile Insider Summit on Monday, Richard Rabbat, Tango’s VP of platform, said consumers are moving toward what he calls “private social.” Instead of publishing the “latest selfie” and watching the “Likes” rack up, Rabbat said, consumers are having more social interactions in private -- or in the “dark.”

Things like private Pinterest boards, Facebook messages, or the ultimate ephemeral platform -- Snapchat -- can't be overlooked. “Dark social” represents 71% of all social sharing, according to recent data form 33Across.

Facebook doesn’t even let its app users message within the Facebook app -- they have to download an entirely new app. That's a clear separation of “public social” (the Facebook app) and “private social” (the messaging app). 

“Brands need to starting thinking not of how many likes they will get on their Facebook post,” Rabbat said, ”but how they will get their story distributed by their audience.”

The ultimate goal, he reckons, should be using your audience as ambassadors. Now that would give interesting new meaning to "audience-buying."

Reposted from MediaPost

"Audience targeting" image from Shutterstock.

The Science of Online B2B Marketing

(Posted on Aug 14, 2014 at 10:10AM by William Cosgrove)
Circle S studio designed this infographic, “The Science of B2B Online Marketing”  to help you visualize the components and the overall process.

The Science of B2B Online Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Reposted from

All Aboard For 'Ground Zero Marketing'

(Posted on Aug 2, 2014 at 12:09PM by William Cosgrove)
Now that “Ground Zero Marketing” has already left the station and is gaining momentum I’d like to re-iterate some points from my article last week and bring up some new ones in hopes of continuing the momentum to enlist and educate business that it’s the website first and foremost that should provide the base from which all their its initiatives should originate and link back to directly.

So let’s rev up “Ground Zero Marketing” and invite everyone aboard.  There will be many stops along the way for those of you who are late to get on board but just remember that the first ones to get on board always get the best seats.

Technology today provides business with the tools to build and maintain their website as “ground Zero” to give them greater control and to reap all the benefits that increased exposure and community brings to organic search, natural link building, and search ranking.

.Your company website should be where all your marketing and communication efforts originate and directly link to where you can provide visitors with a customer centric culture enhanced through community. 

Why would you subscribe to a company whose platform requires you to use their website to do your marketing or distribute content? Your website is where you should concentrate on building your brand. Today it is important to note that it not only does not make sense to market from someone else’s site it simply diminishes the reach and effectiveness your most valuable online asset-Your Website.

From service to sales to customer service your website should be the main vessel used to attract traffic from all your organic and social media channels and an online community can tie it all together.

Unless you are a national or international company your efforts should also be on marketing locally to your local community and using  community to become part of it and to make them part of yours. This is where you are going to realize the most benefit and where you can show your support for your community through customer service, sponsorship and education to show them that you are more than just another sales machine.

The basics of earning respect and loyalty have never and will never change. Digital marketing has just given us newer and different ways in which to do it

These efforts are what are going to create the advocates that will repay you with their loyalty by patronizing your business and referring friends, family and others through WOM (Word of Mouth) advertising on and offline.

Ground Zero Marketing provides better and more stable ways of attracting customers and communicating with your existing customer and employee base from your most important online asset-Your website. Having your message emanating from and traffic directed to your website is the only way you will reap 100% of the benefit that SEO and link building provide.

All this interaction being streamed across your organic, social media and paid channels will engage potential customers by showing them that you have a customer and employee centric culture. This builds trust and confidence in your brand that will:

Increase visibility

Increase site traffic

Increase recommendations and testimonials

Increase employee advocacy

All of which combined will set your brand apart and result in higher sales and a fatter bottom line.

Use Ground Zero to show that you believe in your employees, your customers and yourself.  Show your customers and employees that you know they are the reason you exist through community, sharing and establishing a dialog that flows in two directions. Then you will have a solid foundation for continued and sustainable growth-ALL Aboard Yet?

And one more thing.-

Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss this important message that has been posted on along the way to “Ground Zero Marketing”: 

All Aboard!!!

What Can We Learn From Events Like the World Cup?

(Posted on Jun 21, 2014 at 12:59PM by William Cosgrove)
The World Cup an event that occurs once every four years is one of the greatest sporting competitions on earth. Large events like this are fun and entertaining but also give us a unique opportunity to study in “Real Time” how advertisers and businesses are leveraging their brands, where they are concentrating their efforts and across what medias they are having the greatest impact.

Today’s technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the ratings for popular events. According to ESPN, during the World Cup's first three days, 65% of the audience viewed it via television only, while 24% of consumers combined viewing TV with other media platforms and 11% watched exclusively through a non-TV platform. 

Popular events and campaigns give us insight into which medias are dominating and the tremendous impact that the internet has today on how information is processed and shared.

What we can learn from these popular events is how people are reacting to them via these media channels and what devices they are using which can help us in planning where and how to concentrate our own efforts in promoting our brand and content across these media channels.

According to a Crowdtap poll of more than 850 men and women in May, the poll found that the Facebook  at 65% and Twitter at 17.6% are by far the preferred social channels viewers use to share ads, updates and  message about their favorite brands and teams to friends and family.

“Although different platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) work best for different activities. When it comes to fostering a community or organizing an event, Facebook is key. And nothing beats Twitter for "day of" promotion of your event.” Ritu Sharma Co-Founder and Executive Director of Social Media for Nonprofits.

Also, Social Communities are redefining the customer experience and how businesses interact with their customer base by taking rewards programs, customer service and feedback to a whole new level. Onsite Social Communities shift customer support and service to being part of the brand marketing mix.

Likewise according to Crowdtaps poll cell phones at 58.4% and computers at (58.1%) were evenly split in devices of choice with tablets coming in 3rd at (37.5%)

It becomes obvious, as events like these point out, how important digital marketing and mobile has and continues to transform media communication as a whole and what is today:

* The social channels where the most engagement is presently taking place and

*From which devices all of this communication and engagement is being received and shared.

To shed some perspective on all this sharing, according to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, which surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007.

Online consumer reviews come in second as the most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.

Global events like these give us a unique opportunity to get a broad and current picture of where we might want to consider concentrating our marketing resources most effectively and the diverse and incredible ways all this technology is impacting our lives and the future of commerce.

By William Cosgrove

Social Media Is an Equalizer, When You Make You Make the Time to use It

(Posted on Jun 15, 2014 at 12:23PM by William Cosgrove)

As we're being pulled in so many directions, it's hard to find time to slow down and figure out a solid social media strategy -- but it's worth it. Here's why:

Assuming the net remains neutral, social media offers anyone the ability to be heard by hundreds -- even millions -- of people. It provides opportunity for a small nonprofit organization to be competitive with a major brand with huge marketing budget. When you harness that power through targeted campaigns, the results can be incredible. But even just understanding how social media works when it comes to spreading a message online can be enough, depending on how topical your message is. A little bit of creativity and timing can make a huge difference in amplifying your organization's reach and awareness.


#YesAllWomen is a recent -- and powerful -- example of a well-timed hashtag giving voice to a larger concern. In response to the misogynistic killing rampage that happened in Isla Vista, California, the #YesAllWomen campaign "named a problem with no name" and gave voice to larger concern that resonates with a very large audience (probably just about half the human population, if not more).
Other campaigns have gone viral with unexpected immediacy as well, like the Egypt uprising, hashtagged #Jan25. According the Alyouka, the 21-year-old Egyptian who was the first person to Tweet out the #Jan25 hashtag, Twitter was instrumental in informing the world of events as they were happening:

"We use it to campaign and spread the word about protests/stands-hashtags are invaluable in that respect, and to share news quickly and efficiently, with our own 140-char commentary on them, and subsequently have conversations with random people/complete strangers. But most importantly, it allows us to share on the ground info like police brutality, things to watch out for, activists getting arrested, etc. A certain class of activists are armed with smartphones, which allow them to live-tweet the protests"

Understanding Options

But what if your cause isn't as politically or emotionally charged -- and what if it isn't in about something that's in the news right now? Well, that's where understanding how to work social media comes in to play.

Different platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) work best for different activities. When it comes to fostering a community, organizing an event and reaching donors and volunteers consistently, Facebook is key. And if you want to encourage in-depth conversations with other professionals (and potential donors) around your cause, as well as volunteers, a LinkedIn presence is essential. And nothing beats Twitter for "day of" promotion of your event.

Social Media In Action

Seeing it in action helps. 24-hour giving campaigns have proven time and again that creating well-organized efforts offers BIG rewards. And there are many options to consider: regional, cause-specific, competitive, collaborative and even 48-hour options. The one thing they have in common are success metrics.

Let's say your nonprofit isn't ready for a 24-hour campaign or wants to start out on a smaller, more manageable scale - that works too.

Invisible People is a vlog that shares stories of homeless people and it's wildly popular - and all thanks to social media. Its founder, Mark Horvath, was unemployed for a year, previously homeless and had $45 to his name when he decided to start this effort, using Youtube as his platform. Since then, in his words,

"YouTube has featured me on their homepage. I was the first non-profit cause to speak at Twitter Inc. Google blogged about me a few times. I won a special Pepsi Refresh award at SXSW (South by Southwest) getting over 30,000 votes. The Canadian Government has commissioned me to travel to 24 cities and helpthem fight homelessness. I've had the chance to work with major brands such as General Motors, Hanes, British Airways, Murphy Oil, and Virgin Mobile to help connect them to an unsexy cause called homelessness."

Another effort, similarly named but very differently directed, that has found a voice thanks to social media is Invisible Children. They create films to document LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) atrocities and mobilize massive groups of people to help put an end to these atrocities. And their activist participation consistently numbers in the millions, thanks to highly organized mobilization efforts relying largely on social media marketing. It's amazing.

Cost Comparison: Social Media vs Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising is expensive. Consider this: an ad on a Super Bowl commercial costs millions of dollars, but a quick-moving social media manager can take advantage of Super Bowl trends on Twitter and achieve comparable exposure for free (or the cost to promote a tweet, which is variable and an option for some folks with a budget to spend -- but certainly not necessary).

And even buying ad space from popular publishing platforms can take a toll. But social media is FREE when you activate your community and volunteers. Activate how? Ask them to participate on your various pages in a meaningful way; one that helps advance the conversation.

And beyond that, Facebook advertising offers extremely low cost options (as low as $1.00 per day) to reach your target audience. And its targeting offerings are fairly robust -- and expanding day by day.

Again, wild success stories happen all the time, and all because folks now how to use social media and plug away at it consistently. Can you really afford to NOT set aside a few hours to dig in to these options and sort out a few possibilities for your nonprofit when such massive returns aren't only possible -- but probable?

By Ritu_Sharma Co-Founder and Executive Director of Social Media for Nonprofits

Sales from social media depends largely on time spent

(Posted on Jun 1, 2014 at 02:36PM by William Cosgrove)
Most people admit that they use social media in their business to “increase awareness”. Yet you can increase awareness as much as you like – unless it makes money, what’s the point? Sales are what matters to people in business, yet the way that social media works it focuses our minds on “awareness”. Being aware of a product or brand is not the same as buying it. Business owners want you to buy, not just be aware. Hence all the data about “numbers of followers” or “engagement through likes” is all tosh. It is meaningless, pandering only to our business ego. What matters in business is the profit we derive from sales. If you don’t have enough sales, you don’t generate enough profit. The hapless search for “increased awareness” or “greater traffic” alone is nonsense
Luckily, new research shows a way out of the chasing daft data. The 6th Annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report confirms that most business marketers are chasing the wrong statistics. Yet, buried within the data of this report is the answer to increasing sales using social media.

The study found that the two main reasons people used social media as part of their marketing was to “increase awareness” and “gain followers”. Both of these are easy to measure in terms of “followers” or “likes” and so these targets can provide marketers with so-called “data” which can be used to prove that their work is successful.

Bottom of the list – yes BOTTOM – was using social media to generate sales. Even though the point of being in business is to generate profit from sales, it turns out that those people doing social media marketing rated sales as the least important benefit.

But turn a page or two on and you find that the report reveals a stark difference between the majority of social media marketers and those who are actually generating leads and sales using social networks. The people making real money using social media marketing are the ones putting in the most hours of work.

It turns out that 74% of those who spend more than 40 hours a week on social media are the ones making money. Yet almost two-thirds of business are spending less than 11 hours a week on social media – a quarter of what they need to do.

The figures make it clear – the more time a business spends on social media, the more likely it is to generate sales.

Most businesses are having to focus on meaningless statistics revolving around “awareness” as that provides some logic behind their investment in social media activity. But what this really reveals is that the majority of businesses are not investing anywhere near enough time and money on social media activity.

If you put more time and effort into the world of social media, you will be able to generate more sales – providing a business with a greater reason for using the social web. Rather than trying to work out how to spend less time on social media, your business ought to be considering how it can spend more time on it. The result of that, it seems, will be more sales.

By Graham Jones

Image courtesy: Statista
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