Social Media today is VERY different to 12/18 months ago, and today I wanted to share this post, which is kind of a culmination of the head bee’s thoughts and ideas – which came to light at our last Google hangout. I decided it would make a great post, because it is something we are going to measure and monitor with the growth of the Bizzebee community.
Firstly I should start out by saying that Google hangouts are basically FREE conference video calls that marketers and business owners can use in so many different ways – from 1 on 1 chats, to larger webinar style set ups. All which can be recorded and uploaded to YouTube at a later date!
Anyhow, us Bee’s rely a lot on hangouts for our team meetings – lots of miles between us so this is a simple and easy way to communicate (often from the comfort of our own homes!)
Which leads me nicely into this post really, Google are really upping their game as a social channel – interconnecting all of their products and then rewarding business owners with SEO juice for simply setting up and using their products and facilities (Maps, +, Local Places, YouTube, Hangouts to name but a few)
Facebook has always been deemed the KING of the social networking platforms since it stole the crown from MySpace in around the 2007 mark, with personal use still soaring, I have to ask that for business owners (specific types of niches and industry’s here only) is it still THE place to be to develop your online profile?
I never thought I would weight Facebook lower than any other sites, let alone Twitter too, but over the recent weeks I’ve been taking a serious look at the effectiveness of all major sites and wondering if business owners could be achieving more and getting a higher ROI outside of a Facebook business page and 140 characters.
Bizeebee as a brand is new; we’re establishing what we do and why we do it. Whilst the people behind the concept are all established business owners and marketers with their own large successful following’s, Bizzebee is a newbie – people need to learn about it in their own time.
We’d been looking at ways to develop it’s presence – Doing the usual – spinning out it’s Facebook page across our own successful pages, getting right into Twitter and talking to those users we normally engage with as our separate entities – with some really high hopes of growing our following on these in good time.
As it stands today the Facebook page has 78 likes and the Twitter account has 316 followers (the latter isn’t so bad) Overall as someone who is enthusiastic about the power of these 2 platforms I am a little disappointed by their numbers, and more importantly those people engaging in those numbers.
I remember when I started my Clair Trebes Online Facebook page I managed to hit 100, 500 and then 1000 likes fairly easily and with very little financial outlay, so something must have changed for the Bizzebee site to not achieve the same. We’ve paid for some adverts and some “get more likes” feature within Facebook and its probably gained us around the 25 likes mark – which is a really bad cost per like when you actually weigh up what we’ve spent.
As far as I can see, the change has come from Facebook – with the power to add more businesses and actually fill people’s newsfeeds with “sponsored” stories (which those people didn’t agree they wanted to see) as opposed to the old Edgerank, which worked out what people would want to see based on their use inside of Facebook, the users are deeming some of these sponsored stories as Spam and marking them as such (which you can actually do)
What that does infact is negatively impact other businesses in the same / similar niche – less people are seeing your posts when you send them out and when you pay for them to be seen – and also people just switch off to them.
The whole Internet marketing / make money online niche is SO over saturated and technically Bizzebee fits into that category so our job is made much harder with Facebook now, because of how people use it.
If we were a health site offering vegan food recipes and yoga tutorials I firmly believe we would be playing a very different numbers game – because people are interested in those things in their free time.
In my opinion, your industry will have a MAJOR effect on your ability to use Facebook successfully now, because people want it to be social and not spammed with unrelated posts because someone parted with $$ to promote.
Twitter is such a powerful place, I really believe ANY business can make a great online following over there, but again it’s awash with people abusing the hashtags just to get their sales pitch seen – that doesn’t work either, and when you are trying to standout in a sea of self promoting posts, that can be really hard work. So much so, that I’ve been questioning the relevance of some of the Twitter networking groups that are out there some of them are filled with people posting and not actually talking to the others who are getting involved.
I’ve kind of spear headed the direction that Bizzebee are going to take on it’s quest for Social Media domination, but the other team members are all agreeing with me over Facebook & Twitter (and that’s not to say that we’re giving up – failure is NEVER an option) but instead, we’re going to look at other social networking avenues to help really establish the Bizzebee brand – With LinkedIn and Pinterest being seen to accept a little more “business” and Google+ being geared up to house businesses across the board – we’re going to focus a larger percentage of our efforts in those areas to see how quickly (and if at all) it benefits the brand.
It’s an interesting one, with taking some different approaches on the platforms, LinkedIn we’re gearing up around our group – The Bizzebee Colony. A well-managed group on LinkedIn is almost like a whole bunch of email subscribers all in the one place – so we’re actively developing and growing it and the conversations – whilst slow to start are happening (far better than Facebook and Twitter)
Pinterest is always going to be a profitable exercise if you can get the balance right between business and good images – we’re trialing different boards and different ideas and with one of our posts getting over 300 pins to date, you can’t argue with facts like that. It’s worth the effort in the long term we feel.
Google+ – too many benefits, we’re making videos, we’re having community discussions, and we’re also working on building an email list inside of their via the Google groups facility (It’s going to have a forum type feel to it) but it’s all in early stages – the tools Google offer which are interlinked far outweigh any of the other sites out there.
Nobody is marking us as spam on these last 3, people are asking to get involved and joining us, and we’re not actually outlaying any $$ in doing so. It’s a fairly slow process and very much time consuming – but it shouldn’t be any other way.
As for the effectiveness of our new direction socially – time will tell. Our last analytics report stated Facebook was still our biggest referral traffic source (to which I’m not surprised as individuals with successful pages we share content via there) But in taking a side step and approaching from a different angle we are going to really spend time looking at traffic sources and will be providing updates moving forwards.
This is a mini case study on ourselves – one that we hope gives us (and you) the results we expect, so moving forwards your time and efforts are spent in just the right places to bring your web businesses to light!