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Social Media Marketing Results May Be Intangible (at first)

February 1st, 2011 In categories Social Media Marketing

In traditional marketing, it is said your message needs to be seen at least seven times before it registers with your potential customer. It’s that repeat exposure that makes marketing effective.

With social media, who knows how many times it takes for people to hear your message? And how many more times it takes for them to act on it. Maybe they’ll never act on it.

What I have observed, however, is that people are in fact paying attention, you just might not know about it. Think about how you engage with your Facebook fans and Twitter followers. With Twitter, you develop a RT relationship with a handful of people. You come to trust their posts because they are consistently providing good information or speaking the language of your industry. But who are they, and have you clicked on their profiles to learn more about them and visit their websites?

On Facebook, you post and post. Sometimes people engage, many more people simply watch and listen. I’ve had people tell me they’ve been “watching” me for months, they can tell me all about my postings and what they’ve learned – and I had no idea they were even paying attention.

Some people convert to customers this way. Some people never will. Which is totally okay, either way.

And then there are the wildly successful social media campaigns, where hundreds of people show up at a new store location thanks to a Twitter message that gets RT’d throughout the cyber-verse. Clearly, tangible results, but not all businesses are looking to attract hundreds of people in person. In many cases, if one social media relationship converts to a contract or new premiere customer, that would make it all worth it.

The main point is, we participate in social media to be a presence, to build relationships with people we would never have had access to before, to establish our expertise, and to take advantage of the best—because it’s viral, and because it’s free—form of drip marketing there ever was.

Keep all that in mind as you continue to play in the social media arena. Sometimes you just can’t place a dollar value on your efforts. Followers and fans are priceless, whether they buy from you or not.

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