Millions of home-based and other small business, business opportunity and franchise owners are using social media to market their businesses, but are they really clear on what the true benefits of their efforts might be? According to findings from a recent Social Media Examiner survey featured on Pagemodo, business owners might be surprised to learn that "growing sales" is not at the top of the list.
In fact, the research shows that while business owners and marketing professionals view social media as an important part of the marketing mix, they all agree that its primary benefit is NOT so much to increase sales but exposure. Of course, increased exposure may ultimately lead to a greater number of sales, but direct cause and effect over time can be tough to determine. Perhaps that's why every individual surveyed ranked “improving sales” last of all their choices in every case. Other primary benefits such as increased traffic subscribers, improved search rankings, created new business partnerships, generated qualified leads and reduced marketing expenses consistently ranked higher.
Moreover and perhaps not surprisingly, the survey found the best social media outcomes were generated by those individuals with the most experience. Proof positive once again that “Practice makes perfect!”
According to these latest findings, the bottom line on social media marketing is much like business in general: Before you spend your time or money, it’s important to understand not only what you are doing but why, and once you’re clear, you need to keep at it if you want to see real results!