SMBs are being Anti-Social?

There is a small but growing trend for SMB companies that seems to be calling out against the effectiveness for business from social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in.

Believe it or not, some companies are “going dark” on the social media outlets to see how their actual sales are being affected.

The results are interesting:

“For example, Twitter and Facebook tend not to be a good fit for some law firms and doctors’ offices, due largely to the unique sensitivity of their work and the client/patient relationships that accompany it, says Aaron Sylvan, who runs TrustWorks, a social networking software developer.”p>

This is further the case with service based companies who seem to use these outlets for branding and recognition more than actual conversion of leads into sales.

Another example:

“Michelle McCullough, owner of Doodads Promotional Products in Salt Lake City, says she enthusiastically embraced social networking in 2008 as a low-cost way for her young company to build a quick buzz. Two years later, the verdict is in: The two to three hours a day she had been spending to market via Twitter and Facebook would be better spent on traditional means of relationship-building. “

Our experience has been similar in that the amount of content that bombards our social media accounts far outweighs the exposure.

The argument becomes less clear when your “followers” number in the tens of thousands or millions, as there seems to be a momentum that carries itself.

Let’s not forget also the amount of “spider” activity. That is to say, the number of automatic software programs that are designed to invite you and add you to a follower’s list simply to boost the numbers of the companies that are trying to gain an audience.

For those of you who have Twitter, have you seen any SPAM lately? (hint hint)

HOWEVER, this is not to say that social media doesn’t work. Far from it, for retail and product companies, these outlets are great tools.

A properly optimized website can generate not only traffic via search engines and keyword programs, but with the addition of social media, the “buzz” can be quickly dispersed to the follower base for deals, news and updates for industries that are dynamic.

Just like with any other marketing program, social media has to be tuned to the industry in order to be effective. The question becomes, is the time you spend doing it yourself worth the return?

There is a whole new generation of “social media consultants” popping up to offer services in managing your social media.

Our advice is buyer beware! Many of these consultants turn out to be “fly by night” single person operations that neither care about the quality or brand you have already established and aim to populate numbers at any cost.

For companies who are serious and find value in social media, the safest solution is going with an experienced web marketing firm whose experience and technical skills have be tried and tested.

Fadi Semaan at Solution416 would be a prime example of an experienced consultant who has proven SEO and PPC clients who now also profit from his social media management.

The above quotes are credited to Is it Time for You to Get Anti-Social? by David Port

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