Are social media marketing agencies for small businesses?

I know ours is but the other day at an event listening to speaker after speaker on how they create their strategies for their clients I did question that several times.

The speakers were all employed by different social media agencies talking on what they were doing and the audience was composed of small business owners most with less than 10 employees. By the look on their faces, it was easy to see there was some disconnection in place.

One common strategy to attract Facebook people to like a page was to give something like an Ipad a day as a giveaway. Just on this the investment on the devices alone was around $24 thousand a month. Were there anything in place to convert those Ipad winners into buyers? Not really but the number of people liking your page will be really high.

Lots of people seeking free stuff with no intention of buying now or ever, not necessarily a very targeted audience seems to be a good thing. What is the use of having thousands of people like a page if they are not potential buyers? None. Not for a business.

It seems that is not clear to marketers that every action in business needs to have a clear path to profit since that is what business is all about. Even engagement needs to lead to increased level of trust and at some point to sales.

Another popular strategy is the use of infographics. Don’t get me wrong, I think this one can be very useful, but I couldn’t help but laugh when the speaker pointed out that it does bring a lot of traffic to a site while the bounce rate (number of people that visit that page and leave without doing nothing) goes over 90% and conversion rates are below 1/2 percent.

Again, if it is not going to bring targeted prospects, I’ll not build a list, they will go away without looking at anything else and they won’t ever buy, why would this traffic matter?

For big dumb companies that can afford to spend a lot of money just to be more visible and claim they are popular this makes sense. For the small business owner where money spent needs to bring results in the form of hot prospects and profits, these strategies are a waste of time. They may be cool, but they are not money well spent.

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