Special Report – Social Networking Not Helping Sales For Most Businesses

Report from Forrester Says Social Networks Dead Last on List of Customer Acquisition Tactics

One of the frequently asked questions about Facebook and other social networks is: Where is the return on investment? The truth is, there usually isn’t one. This article supports the argument that social networking nurtures existing relationships but does not create new ones.  Most orthodontic practices I queried agree with this.

As my clients know, I have never been a big fan of Facebook as an Internet marketing tool for an orthodontic practice. People use Facebook to socialize and look at pictures. When it comes to marketing your business, I believe Facebook gives you great ability to build relationships with your current patient base, but it rarely has a tangible effect on new business.

For my money, Facebook has not yet earned a prominent place in well-structured Internet marketing strategies. Its role is secondary, more on the public relations side, with customer retention and brand management. New patients online is generated with clicks to your website, not your Facebook page. Spending time and effort with page ranking on Google and the other search engines with SEO is a better return on Investment.

This article cites a report by the research firm Forrester which states that only about a quarter of businesses surveyed experienced any kind of tangible growth because of social media. The flip side of that statistic is that almost 75% of businesses that invested time and money into social media campaigns saw little or no positive results. The article even states that on a list of ten customer acquisition tactics, social networks ranked last.

The article also has some interesting foresight about the growing popularity of iPads. Apple’s newest creation has been available to consumers for less than a year but the iPad and other tablet devices already represent nearly half of mobile retail traffic. What that means is nearly half of all online shopping not done on a laptop or desktop computer was done on a tablet device. That trend is expected to continue in 2011, which means website designers must now consider how a page will appear on a tablet device. Already, websites have had to adapt to increased Internet use on cell phones and smart phones. Tablets devices like the iPad introduce yet another important wrinkle to website design. 

To read the article, click here.

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