It seems everything these days is about social media marketing when it comes to the internet and websites. Every web designer knows one, or is asking for extra money to handle the social media themselves. Are you really getting your money’s worth though? That’s the question everyone who hires a social media marketer should be asking themselves. We can guarantee in most cases you’re not. Instead, you’re throwing money down a drain without a return on your investment.
When it comes to advertising, whether on the web or in the real world, it’s all about getting a return on what you’re spending. Whatever you spend should bring in more money in return. In the old days of direct marketing, before email where you got countless junk in your actual mail box, direct marketers used tracking numbers. The smart direct marketers would have a tracking number on every advertising and mailing slip they printed up. When you called in about an offer they’d ask what the number was. If you brought it into the store, they recorded what the number was on the slip you brought in. Even before the internet, you were being tracked.
What purpose did this serve? It told the companies where their advertising was making them the most money, and where it was being wasted. They would use different tracking numbers for different areas they were sending ads out to. This told them which areas were more likely to come in and spend. The areas that didn’t do so well, they knew they’d have to change up the ad with a different wording or pictures to bring people in. They could even send out the same ad with different wording and pictures to the same area, and as long as each ad had different tracking numbers they knew which one brought in better results.
In many ways, this wasn’t any different than what’s done now on the internet. While there’s a bit more information a business can grab from running ads online or through social media, such as how many times an ad was seen and extra information on the demographics, it’s really not much different from the old fashioned snail mail way of tracking customers and results.
So how does this relate to social media marketing you ask? Most people don’t think twice about paying a social media marketer thousands of dollars a month to increase their following. Very rarely do they consider if these social media marketers are actually getting people to their website and creating income. Most people look at social media accounts, or those who offer those services, and maybe they see large followings. In those cases, the social media “expert” must be doing a good job, right? Not necessarily.
First, the number of followers doesn’t mean anything. These days it’s easy for social media “experts” to purchase followers. Even if these accounts of followers aren’t fake, the followers may not care at all about your business which means they never actually go to your page to purchase anything. Another way to think of it, what’s more valuable to you as a business owner, a hundred thousand followers that never go to your site or only a 100 followers where every one of them makes a purchase once a month? In other words, the quality of interested followers your social media marketer is getting you does matter. Why pay them thousands of dollars for followers that don’t buy from you?
These are all things that can be tracked through various measures and different extents including sessions, cookies, and/or google analytics. If you do hire a social media marketer, and you’re seeing that they are driving traffic to your website but it’s not producing income then there’s a different problem in your pipeline. Depending on what you’re selling this could be something as simple as people not having an interest in your product as they read more about it, it could be price, or any number of other sales shortfalls that companies sometimes find themselves in.
This failure at least tells you where to focus your energy. Maybe it’s the web design, maybe it’s the landing page they’re being directed to, or maybe it’s something completely different. If the social media marketer is getting people to your website, but you’re not getting sales, the problem is likely NOT the social media marketer.
So when you hire a social media marketer, do not be impressed by their number of followers. Followers don’t matter if they were purchased, or aren’t converting to sales. Track everything! Make sure the social media marketer is getting traffic to your website. This tells you if the problem is the marketer or something else. Don’t be afraid to ask for these numbers and how they track their traffic to justify what they’re asking for in price. In todays day and age with point and click, or plugin installations, follower purchases, and other shenanigans its not uncommon for people to claim they’re good at something without having the actual knowledge or real numbers/conversions to back it up. Remember, every dollar spent should be bringing in something more in income.