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8 On-The-Money Social Media Facts Every SME Needs to Know in 2016

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Aaaarrreuuughhwhattheheck!

That’s the sound my brain makes when I’m in a new business meeting and can’t remember the fact I’m grasping for.

There are certain business social media facts that – if your powers of persuasion are taking time out – won’t let you down.

Facts for all seasons.

Eureka facts.

Pithy titbits that spark lightbulb moments with potential clients.

They usually centre on money: return on investment.

And I’ve isolated THE eight most persuasive ones.

Mildly interesting, you think. But how does this apply to me?

Why Should I Spend Two Minutes of My Precious Day Reading This Post?

  • You’re a family business owner wondering how to make sense of social media, blogging, and PR. How it can help your business and what you should focus on in the often-bewildering and fast-developing field of digital marketing
  • You own a small-to-medium-sized business and spend a lot of time/effort on social media: mainly Facebook and Twitter. But you’re not seeing a return. You suspect you’re wasting your money
  • You don’t make decisions on opinion alone. You need hard facts
  • You work in PR but you’re finding it increasingly hard to persuade clients that media relations and a bit of social media dabbling cuts the mustard. Sometimes, they seem to know more about the bigger marketing picture than you

New Business Meetings

These facts are to help get/make a decision in new business meetings.

If you’re on the selling side, you are trying to persuade people who have worked very hard to part with their hard-earned profits. And invest it with you.

If you’re on the buying side, and you’re sitting in a meeting with a digital marketer, SEO, or PR (or a combination of all three), have these eight facts in the back of your mind.

These eight facts might help you resolve whether to ask for a proposal or send them packing. And if the person sitting in front of you uses one or two of them, it’s likely they know their onions (from their elbows).

Side note: I’m going to illustrate some facts with a visual. My top tip to all digital marketers would be to take a computer along to any new business meeting. And show. There’s more chance of that Eureka moment. Had computers been around in Archimedes’ day, and had the Ancient Greek been in the habit of attending new business meetings, I feel sure he would have done the same.

Eight On-The-Money Digital Marketing Facts for SMBs

#1: Ranking Number One on Google Organic Search Gets You a 34% Click Through Rate

This drops to 20 per cent for second place. And if you’re only ranking fifth, just 5.8 per cent of people will click on your site. The top five spaces take 80.55 per cent of the traffic. The figures are marginally lower for mobile searches.

These numbers are for November 2015. So pretty current.

Graphic showing the November 2015 stats for Google Search click through rates.

But some marketing experts predict a decline, highlighting Google’s increasingly money-grabbing attitude to organic search. For example, tap in any competitive transactional keyword phrase nowadays on desktop and there’s nary an organic search result in sight. The best you can hope for (and here, your local SEO is important) is your company appearing in the 3-pack (the big map box that comes up with three businesses highlighted).

Glasgow PR company Google Search Zude PR.

STILL, if you are able to spot the “ads” sign along the top and down the right-hand side of the front page (most of us), organic search is, and will remain, very important. It’s trusted. And being in the top three (or better still, first) for your key transactional keyword phrases WILL deliver real business leads.

Advice: get your website sorted. And invest money in your SEO. One last stat: SEO leads have a 14.6 per cent close rate. That, my friend, is gold dust. For example, if someone has taken the trouble to go on to Google and search for “glasgow pr company” it’s likely they are looking to purchase a Glasgow PR company’s services. Which is good for the likes of me.

#2: Eighty-Nine Per Cent of Customers Begin Their Buying Process with a Search Engine

Other studies say 81 per cent. Whatever, it’s high.

Advice: do all the things you need to do to get your company showing up high on Google, organically. For the transactional keyword phrases it has a realistic chance of ranking for. Commit to inbound marketing. Seek expert advice. Don’t try and do everything at once (ROI, ROI, ROI). And invest.

#3: Company Facebook Pages Reach as Few as 2.6% of Their Followers

As of March 2015. It may be lower now. On the other hand (in December 2014) Facebook drives around a quarter of overall traffic to websites, rivalling organic search. It may be higher now. What to do about this statistical conundrum?

Social-Media-Traffic-Referrals-Report-Q4-2014-chart

Advice: Facebook is a key marketing tool that cannot be ignored. It is also a great citation for your local SEO. But as a family business owner you must pay to play; if you want your company Facebook page to reach those you want to speak to.

#4: 80% of B2B Social Media Leads Come From LinkedIn

With Facebook down at just 6.37 per cent. The sample size of this study was 100,000.

Advice: companies selling their services to other companies should have LinkedIn at the heart (along with their website) of their digital marketing. LinkedIn is no longer merely a sophisticated online CV.

#5: E-Mail Marketing Has a 4300% Return on Investment

Wow. And is 40 times more effective at acquiring leads than Facebook and Twitter combined. Hands up if you’re spending lots of money and time on social media to promote your business, but little on email marketing. Time for a change of strategy perhaps?

Advice: email is the most effective and one of the least difficult digital marketing tactics.

Graphic showing how effective and diffcukt digital marketing tactics are.

And if you consider committing to digital marketing, growing your “list” (those people who want to receive your email communication) should be a priority. E-mail marketing is often cited as one of the best and easiest-to-track means of measuring the success of your marketing campaign. You know you’re doing something right if people are proactively signing up to receive content from YOU.

#6: Google Reviews and Google My Business Account for 23.1 Per Cent of Your Local SEO

This is according to a recent survey of the top SEO practitioners by industry bible Moz.

Moz local search ranking factors for 2015 pie chart.

Advice: ranking locally for your key transactional keyword phrases is important. Asking customers for reviews and optimising your Google My Business page are – compared to the time it takes to e.g. sort your citations – relatively quick wins.

#7: 95% of Blogs Fail

But not if they are done right.

Advice: get some one-to-one blogging training. Why? Because blogging takes time and if you’re going to invest that time, you need to be setting off in the right direction! Marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13x more likely to experience positive ROI. And blogging is usually a key plank of any inbound marketing and organic SEO campaign.

#8: Media Relations Can Be Hugely Beneficial For Your Business

This is a cast-iron certainty. Trust me. And aside from increasing your authority with customers and potential customers, it can be exceedingly good for your SEO.

Advice: you could try doing it yourself. Others have, with impressive results. Or hire a PR company: most should be able to deliver a media relations campaign.

Conclusion

Based on these eight facts (actually, seven and a “just trust me”) here are my top tips for family business owners.

The four messages I try and jimmy into most new business meetings with SMBs:

  • Refresh your website and invest in your local SEO. Initially, and long-term
  • You’ve probably got an email “list”. Start using it
  • Use media relations (traditional PR) when you have a story. But don’t sweat it. If you don’t have something newsworthy to say, don’t say it. Deploy an alternative tactic
  • By all means try social media. But don’t dabble. And don’t waste time. Think about your ROI. And measure

Codicil

What digital media marketing facts stand out for you as a small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME), and give you perspective? Is it all about the return on investment? Or are there other, more important, reasons?

If you want more blog posts like this, an occasional reading list, and a weekly digest of the world’s best content in the increasing converging world of SEO, PR, content and social media marketing, sign up now.

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Dave Sawyer, director of PR firms Glasgow Zude PR.

My name’s David Sawyer FCIPR.

A digital PR man, based in Glasgow. After a lifetime in big PR, I set up my own company two years ago.

I provide digital PR services to firms across the UK.

Credits: thanks to Moz, Marketing Charts, Shareaholic, and Advanced Web Ranking for the graphics. You can click on them to reach the source. And thanks to Neil Patel for highlighting a couple of these facts.

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