Social Media: A giant time suck
Not only is social media a ginormous time suck; it is estimated that the average person wastes over 13 days of their life every year trolling through Facebook TWEET THIS and others like it.
As I have reported before, there is very LITTLE evidence that social media is an effective marketing tool. USA Today reported on that well over two years ago
Even more interesting is that TWITTER has yet to turn a profit (CNN Money Report) and Facebook is really sucking wind (Yahoo Finance).
Now in this months SUCCESS magazine there is further proof that social media is a Marketing BUST! In a recent Gallup survey…
62% of Americans say social networks -Facebook, G+, Twitter and the like- have zero, zilch, nada, effect on their buying decisions. TWEET THIS
Gallup found that consumers are much more likely to consult friends, in-store displays, mailed ads, and magazine than social media content.
These findings may be a shocker for US Businesses, which spent $5.1 Billion (That’s billion with a “B”) on social media ads in 2013 alone.
So are all these “Social Media Guru’s” legit?
Unfortunately, most are not. Be very cautious when working with anyone who has “social media” in their title or as a main portion of their business. (Actually, the only social media person I know that is having any success for their clients is Kim Walsh Phillips up in PA). There are some tremendous “hacks” out there pretending to be “experts”.
So… how can you protect yourself and your marketing budget? Here are some questions to ask ANY social media expert (personally I would skip down to #5 and #6. If I can’t get good answers to those, then I am outta here!):
1. How long ago did you start using social media and why?
Hopefully they were an early adapter and understood the importance early on or caught on quickly.
2. What do you personally use social media for and why?
More than sharing funny photos of the keg stand in college, a good consultant shows how they use/have used it for business.
3. What is your background other than social media?
If they are helping you with marketing, I would hope they have a background in marketing/promotion of some shape or form.
4. Do you blog?
I hope so! And more importantly it is a well-designed well-visited blog?
5. What have been YOUR measurable results from using social media?
6. How do you measure ROI?
If you don’t keep score, how do you know where you stand? There are lots of soft analytics you can use: Sentiment (how do people feel about the brand), amount of followers, retweets, Facebook comments, blog traffic, website traffic, etc.
However, remember the hard analytics are what ultimately matters on the finance sheet: Amount of new (for example) email subscribers from social which led to sales, total sales BEFORE social media vs. % increase after using it (remember no magic pill here so allow a few months before you have measurable results).
Vance Morris is the Founder of the Marketing & Entrepreneur Growth Alliance and Deliver Profits Now! system for market domination and lead generation.