SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Bob on linked-in


BGAmedia selected as:
ChooseWhat helps small businesses

Archives

Get blog updates via email

E-junkie Shopping Cart and Digital Delivery

Posts Tagged ‘Skeptic’

Comments Off on Can Facebook Grow Your Business?

Can Facebook Grow Your Business?

by Robert B. Gelman

As readers of this blog know, I am a skeptic when it comes to the value of Facebook (and other social media) when it comes to promoting local, small businesses. That’s not to say I don’t believe it can or will work.  I just prioritize it lower than other methods proven to effectively increase sales and market share.

That said, I recently ran across an online survey that honestly evaluated my potential return for investing time on a Facebook with 10 short questions.  It’s at www.isfacebookforme.com.  I recommend you take 30 seconds and give it a try. My score was just 4.8, supporting my decision to invest my time in this website rather than Facebook’s. But that may not be the case for you.

If you have not tried PPC advertising, it is truly the most logical type of advertising to do for businesses that need to make every penny count. And next to Google’s search network placement, Facebook is the best place to do it, according to several studies.  In a post on the ROI Revolution blog, Ben Ronnenberg gave us insights into the results of one of his anonymous clients that can be instructive.  He called this company “Client A.”

“The following story is about a lead generation client (Client A, for anonymity), but Facebook would certainly be worth testing if you’re in an e-commerce space too.

We created Client A’s Facebook account back on January 26. He’s a local advertiser, only seeking clients within a close radius of a heavily populated metro, so we set the Facebook geo-targeting to just 10 miles around his city.

Within 18 days his campaign spent just over $500, generating almost 600 clicks, but these numbers don’t tell the whole story yet:

When we dig into our Google Analytics reporting for Client A’s Facebook PPC traffic, we can see that his $500 in spend produced 11 highly valuable customer leads:

By highly valuable, I mean that Client A knows his customer lifetime value and has been able to determine that each new customer lead is worth $600 to him.

So for a ~$500 cost, with 11 new customer leads worth $6,600 (11 x $600), we’re talking about a superior ROI from Facebook in just 18 days!

It’s important to note here that Facebook is only producing 5.5% of the overall leads from our top 5 traffic sources, so it’s not going to replace Google AdWords anytime soon. Facebook is however, turning out to be a solid supplemental lead source for Client A.

Tips for setting up a Facebook campaign

1. Track your conversions with a reporting service like Google Analytics.
2. Utilize Facebook’s demo/geographic targeting to focus on a niche audience.
3. Set your bid price within Facebook’s suggested CPC bid range.
4. Use a captivating image in your ad (you can combine an image with text).
5. If you generate a strong impression share initially, but then it trends downward over time, you should rotate new ad creatives to keep a fresh message in front of your audience’s eyes.

6. If you are unable to generate any substantial impression share at all, then try experimenting with different or fewer demographic segments. You can also try targeting a larger geographic area to boost your ads’ reach.”

Social Media is B.S.* for Many Local Businesses

*B.S = Bad Strategy

In the past month, I’ve attended three webinars, read 14 articles, and attended an early morning in-person seminar all on the subject of Social Media as a business tool.

After all this, in all my experience, I’m afraid that the Social Media Emperor has no clothes!  That’s because I’ve seen no reason to believe that it will actually be worth the effort that it takes to do this stuff properly.

You would expect me to be an evangelist of this work. I’ve not only worked in this field since 1992, I’ve built several social networks (with my team).  But no, I’m not an evangelist, I’m a skeptic.   Having seen the bubble of Internet vapor burst in early 2001, I feel strongly this may be happening again, only this time, the losers could be struggling small businesses who invest their time and energy unwisely.

What a small business needs from its efforts, be they online or off, is ROI. If you have 12 hours in a day to run your business, you probably do not have time to setup Facebook fan pages, write blog articles, tweet on Twitter, and still sell. manufacture, ship, and keep the books as most small businesses do.  So before you tell me to go Yelp, or contribute to the public works Wiki, or check my comments and trackbacks, you’d better be prepared to tell me what it will be worth to me in additional sales and more importantly: profit!

Putting My Money Where My Blog Is

Frankly, I’d love to be shown a true ROI analysis which demonstrates in a meaningful way what benefits blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, or Yelping have brought to you or a client that you work for.  I am seriously interested enough in this information, that I am willing to put an open offer out here for a cash and services package worth at least $500.  If you can show me a real analysis of ROI (time + expenses) for using these tools versus how it has directly impacted your revenue, I’ll give you:

  • A year of “green” web hosting (worth about $150)
  • Web site Search Engine Optimization (worth about $250)
  • $100 in cash

This offer is good through the end of 2009, open to anyone with serious intent to help me learn something about these tools. I remain the sole arbiter of whether you’ve succeeded, but it will be worth it to me to be shown the light, if there is any.

In the meantime, while the jury’s out, I’m helping my clients to cover these many Social Media bases with the least possible amount of time and effort expended. I do it with a process that allows them to simply send a text email to a specific address and then this system will:

  1. Post the message to your web site’s blog
  2. Post it to all of your social media presences (facebook, linked-in, GOTML, etc)
  3. Post the subject line as a tweet on Twitter (linking back to your site)
  4. Send a beautifully formatted graphic html email to your prospect list
  5. Offer you response data to measure interest in the message
  6. Give you a foot rub and a pat on the head (just kidding)

If you are interested in having me wrangle the media for you as noted above, or if you want to submit an ROI analysis, please email me: bg@bgamedia.com.  And I promise to publicly recant my skepticism when I’m properly educated.