Most Common SMO Strategies Not The Most Effective

They say that most business people know that half of their marketing dollars are wastedthey just don’t know which half. Well, a recent study by MarketingProfs shows just how true that statement may be in the world of social media. Over at eMarketer yesterday they commented on a September MarketingProfs study that took a look at what tactics have been proven successful for social media vs. what companies are actually doing in the space. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) the tactics weren’t the same.

The study looked at both Facebook and Twitter in order to determine what’s working for social media marketers. On Facebook, the study found that the most common marketing tactic being used was to drive people toward promotional material via the Facebook status update. Sounds good, however, the study reported the tactic only garners a 25 percent success rate for B2Bs and a 28.4 success rate for B2Cs. The most successful Facebook marketing tactic was to create branded Facebook applications, though only 25 percent of companies admitted to doing so.

Other common successful Facebook marketing tactics included:

  • Created a survey of ‘fans”: 37.1 percent successful for B2B, 37.9 percent for B2Cs.
  • “Friending ” recent customers with corporate Facebook accounts: 34.4. percent for B2B, 26.3 percent for B2C.
  • Using Facebook user data to profile customers demos or interests: 33.5 percent for B2Bs, 30.5 percent for B2Cs.

Things looked pretty similar when the survey moved to Twitter marketing tactics. Once again, driving traffic by linking to marketing and promotional materials was the most common activity reported, but it wasn’t necessarily deemed the most effective. According to the survey, the most effective way to do business on Twitter is to use it as a real-time PR device.

The most successful Twitter marketing strategies included:

  • Creating an in-person event using only Twitter invites (the strategy used LEAST & one mention in our SEO Trends for 2010 post!): 37.4 percent successful for B2B, 36 percent for B2C.
  • Contacting Twitter users tweeting negatively about the brand: 36.7 percent for B2B, 44 percent for B2C.
  • Driving traffic by linking to marketing Web pages: 35.7 percent for B2B, 35.2 percent for B2C.

Overall, the study highlights a pressing need for SMBs owner to track their social media efforts and focus on the activities that are going to yield them the highest ROI. Over the past 18 months, many SMBs owner have been jumping into social media to “experiment” and “try things out”. We’ve now reached the point where you really need to test what you’re doing to understand whether or not its effective for your business. There are ways to measure social media to make sure you’re choosing the most effective strategies possible for your company. You just have to put the metrics down first. Without the metrics, you’re fishing without a net.


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

10 Reactions
  1. Great info Lisa – can you give an example of “branded facebook applications”?

  2. A lot of the time I believe this disconnect between what people are doing and what they’ve had success with stems from poor analytics/metrics. They do what they think everyone else is doing instead of testing different ideas and then measuring the success rate of their efforts.

  3. Thank you Lisa for giving us an examples of successful strategies. Social Media should be one aspect of a small business owner’s overall marketing strategy. If the small business owner is clear on his goals and what he is trying to accomplish, he shouldn’t have a problem defining performance measurements.

    It is very important that this is addressed so that a small business owner knows not only what he is doing but why he is doing it!

  4. Is SMO standing for “social media optimization”?

  5. RedHotFranchises

    That’s interesting, I myself used the most common marketing strategy, and realized little change. It takes diversification into all of these different SMO Strategies, setting aside some time for each of them, so that the chances of succeeding in social media will increase by over 100%.
    Thanks for sharing the Secrets.

  6. Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

  7. Nice article, thanks lisa for sharing these strategies. This is a great help for small business owners to know the do’s and the dont’s.

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