A Social Media Marketing Story in Statistics

By Joe Cunningham, Internet Marketing Manager

“Once upon a time, in a not-so-far away land, there was a business, that upon noticing the decline in the results of print media, turned to social media marketing and made a lot of money.  The End.” 

Sound like a familiar “bedtime story”?  Well, it’s not!  Take your pick: Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Toyota, Apple, GM, GE, Texas Roadhouse, Sony Pictures, Disney, Gillette, BMW, Avon, Gucci, McDonald’s, Mercedes… 

The list goes on and on.  Social media marketing kicks butt!

Newspaper Trash

The Decline of “Trad” (Traditional) Media

I’m willing to bet you’ve met an advertising “traddy” (traditional media sales person).  Their thoughts are as follows.

“Social media is complex.”  “It doesn’t work.”  “It’s a waste of time and money.”

Consumer Time

On the contrary, think about it: where are consumers spending their time these days? 

  • The average person spends 1-2 hours online every day.
  • One of every seven minutes is spent on Facebook. (That’s about 15 minutes per day.)
  • There are approximately 245 million internet users in the US alone.
  • That means there are approximately 3.675 billion advertising minutes available just on Facebook every day in the US alone.


Compare that to how much time the average consumer is spending reading newspapers and magazines

  • 86% of viewers don't necessarily trust traditional advertising any longer.
  • 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation.  (Think of our own Syracuse Post Standard turning to Syracuse.com and recently reducing print publication to 3 times a week!)
  • Newspaper advertising is down 18.7%.
  • Less than 1 out of 5 traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI (90% of people skip ads via DVR).
  • The Wall St. Journal reports that advertising in US print directories is expected to fall 39% over the next four years.

The Social Media Phenomenon

In answer to the “traddy,” social media marketers report: 

  • “Social media marketing is simple and fun!”  (Well, duh!  Hence popularity.)
  • “It’s more cost efficient!” (The average cost to generate a lead through traditional outbound marketing using is about $373, while the average cost per lead via inbound marketing is about half - $143!)
  • “And it works!” (77% of B2C (business to consumer) marketers have acquired new customers through Facebook; B2B’s (business to business) report new customers through LinkedIn (65%), Facebook (43%), and Twitter (40%)!)

The Big Secret of Social Media MarketingGoing Viral

So why does it work?  And how?

The big secret of social media marketing is simple. 

Those ads on the side bars on Facebook cost advertisers money every single time someone clicks them.  Posting updates to your fans is free and they feel they are part of the club, family, team, band, or company when they “like” you.  The key is putting your best public face forward and posting quality content people want to react to (a.k.a. “content marketing”).  Likes, shares, and re-tweets create a viral effect: exponentially multiplying your marketing reach so you are now communicating with even millions of new potential customers. 

That video you liked on Facebook.  That funny picture you re-pinned.  The article you shared on LinkedIn.  All of these are (usually) part of a bigger picture or “social media campaign” that includes careful planning and execution of what to post and when; targets specific consumer audiences (you); and can include contests, scavenger hunts, sweepstakes, or just downright great, fun, informative stuff.

In fact, 91% of social media campaigns result in improved company website traffic79% generate more quality leads

So what are you waiting for?

Creating a Social Media Marketing PlanSocial Media Explained with Bacon (click to enlarge)

There are two ways to do social media marketing: 1) do it yourself; 2) let the experts do for you.

As you guessed, I suggest letting the experts handle it.  Experts, as we all know, by etymological definition, have the experience and know-how necessary to produce the best results

In any case, you or they will need to do the following:

The 4 Steps to Effective Social Media Marketing 

1) Set goals.  Define the purpose of your company’s social media presence.

2) Set up the accounts.  Which social networks should we start with?  Each one has a different audience, character, and medium.  Find your niches and create the accounts.

3) Posting and interaction.  Create a plan on what you will post and when.  Post once or twice a day.  Hint: pictures are the most viral content, but change it up (link, picture, video, text, etc.).  Emotive posts get more responses than indicatives.  And don’t forget to engage fans: think of yourself as a celebrity shaking hands, kissing babies, and signing autographs.  Note: be careful what you post: 52% of consumers have stopped following a company after becoming annoyed with excessive posts.

4) Track your results.  Measure your progress by keeping track of website traffic via Google Analytics, SEO rankings, and – to the best of your ability – where your inbound leads are coming from.  You’ll get a real thrill when your first social media lead walks through the door.

Three Great Examples of Social Media Marketing

We at Cowley Associates have majorly boosted our social media marketing over the past few months and track 200% more website traffic, new visitors from social media, and website leads.  The top two sources for new business in the last month alone are #1: SEO & #2: Facebook!

Two of our clients are also hot-shot social marketers.

We designed two websites for both Christmas and Associates businesses: LandandCamps.com, a rural real estate showcase; and CampFitters.com, an e-commerce cabin décor store.  Julie Martin, their stellar marketing manager, has doubled the real estate Facebook fan base to almost 2,100, and her CampFitters Facebook page has almost 2,000 fans – and it’s only been up for a few months!  She has mastered content marketing: identifying with the different types of consumers of both companies, then creating posts that strike chords in their hearts.

Our client Messenger Associates has won awards for social media marketing.  Anne Messenger, the company CEO, was named a favorite on Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers Must Follow 2012, and again for 2013 (with almost 3,000 followers).  The executive career coach company effectively reaches out to prospective clients via constant informative posts and chats, reporting many new clients via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

“We Can Do That!”The Millennium Falcon taking off into the sky.

So give us a call, message, tweet, email.  Cowley offers expert social media management to create the social media marketing and viral content marketing your business needs to compete in this high-tech world.

The “trads” are sailing their ships on many a charted and deserted waters; while social media starships fly into a galaxies of highly populated new business.  “With whom shall you go?”

 Information taken from Comscoredatemine.com, Socialmediatoday.com, Squidoo, Econsultancy, Wikipedia, and Jeffbullas.com.

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