What is the most effective social media tool for connecting businesses with customers?

owen

Has there been any research that indicates the effectiveness of using different social media networks? I know Facebook is largest, for example, but is it more effective at reaching people than Twitter (for example)? Also, how do you measure the impact of social media on a business? A Facebook like is one thing, but it doesn't necessarily equate to someone spending their money on your goods/services.

Topic: Business
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Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (20)

Here's a relatively recent report from Danny Sullivan about that very topic. He writes:

 

"A new survey shows that when it comes to generating leads and sales, Facebook gets top marks among business-to-consumer marketers while LinkedIn does well for the business-to-business marketer. Twitter comes in as a strong second place winner for B2C leads. The data comes from the 2012 State Of Digital Marketing report from WebMarketing123, a California-based digital marketing agency. ...

 

[Sixty-seven percent] of B2C marketers who generated leads from social media said some of those came from Facebook, followed by 43% reporting leads from Twitter, then LinkedIn at 21%, followed by Google+ at 15% and Pinterest at 13%."

 

But, as Sullivan notes, the survey's authors see a disturbing trend for Facebook: The number of B2Cs reporting Facebook as a source of sales fell to 39% from 48% in the previous year. (Twitter was No. 2 in sales at 19%, with LinkedIn third with 9%.)

 

dthomas
Vote Up (19)

I think there are two distinct areas you need to look at: customer outreach/relationships and brand advertising. The first area, building and maintaining relationships with (mostly) existing clients and customers is where I think social media is most valuable. This can be very difficult to quantify, after all, how do you measure the increase or maintenance of good will through social media contact? Number of likes? I'm not sure how meaningful that really is. The second, which is primarily focused on attracting new business, is much more of a challenge through social media. This is somewhat easier to quantify, through metrics such as Cost Per Click (CPC) and Click Through Rate (CTR).

Honestly, I think the jury is still out on the effectiveness of social media marketing. There is obviously value, but how much remains in question. If you recall, one of the big three auto manufacturers, I think it was GM, pulled back on Facebook advertising over doubts about effectiveness.

Here is a graphic that puts some of the metrics into visual form.

jimlynch
Vote Up (17)

This article might be useful.

Top 5 Social Media Tools Used by Business
http://www.prepare1.com/top-5-social-media-tools-business/

"Video marketing holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 76% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012.

Marketers seek to learn more about Google+: While only 40% of marketers are using Google+, 70% of marketers want to learn more about it and 67% plan on increasing Google+ activities.
Top three benefits of social media marketing: The number-one benefit of social media marketing is generating more business exposure (reported 85% of marketers), followed by increasing traffic (69%) and providing marketplace insight (65%).

Top five social media networks/tools for marketers 2011:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Blogs
YouTube"

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