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#1 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:51 PM

First off, I was torn on deciding to put this here or in the web development forum. It deals with web development in a small way, but incorporates business/career elements as well. If a mod thinks it should be moved there or somewhere else, feel free to do so!

Alright, I will try and keep this short (possible TL;DR, but please read!). It seems everyone who has a business or portfolio(web designer/developer/graphic designer/whatever) online wants to be connected with social media pages such as Twitter, Facebook, Dribbble, etc.

Now let me paint a picture of a hypothetical company's media "status":

Facebook: 10 likes and hasn't had a post in 10 months.
Twitter: 15 followers and 20 tweets.

Okay, so now on to my question... does this reflect negatively back on the company/person if their "status" on these networks is small? Let's say you're buying a product off of a website and you are kind of unsure on purchasing from them. You then snoop around and click a link to their Facebook page and see they have 10 likes. Does this give you the sense that the company is small and perhaps make you even more uneasy / wonder if they put out a good product? Or let's say you're in college and have your own website that links to a portfolio of work to show a potential employer. Do you think that employer might have negative thoughts because of your social pages not getting much traffic/kept up on?(It's petty, but think about it)

I am asking this because clients always say: "Get us a Facebook page! Put us on Twitter! Get us an account with network x!", but they rarely manage them and most small businesses don't get social media attention.

Are small businesses and those creating a portfolio to market themselves better off not having social media pages on their websites so people don't gauge their credibility/worth by their social status, or do you think not having social media pages is a bigger negative and makes you look unconnected to what the world is doing? Is the answer to be connected only on one network so you don't have to try and manage and promote multiple?

Looking for opinions from those who are in web development as well as the general public who might stumble on to websites as customers or guests.

Thanks!

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Replies To: Are social media pages worth having?

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

I was promised a "tl;dr" but firefox failed to find me it. I'll wait for the tweet on where to find it.
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#3 creativecoding  Icon User is online

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

Well first of all on the topic of, "should your business have one", absolutely yes. When the XXX domain came out universities grabbed those real quick because they don't want harvard.xxx to become a thing other than a blank page. Same thing here. You don't want to grow to the point where having a Facebook page would be a good idea and then see that the best names are taken.

Whether you should use it? That's a different story. I would say if you're grown enough so that you think you could get, say, 50 likes and you're a small/mid-sized company, it'll be okay. However keep in mind your competitors will look a lot more appealing when they have 150 likes and a very active Facebook. I would recommend asking your clients at the end of doing work with them if they'd be so kind to like your Facebook page, but don't push it. Of course while you're building up your likes and stuff, you don't want your Facebook to be TOO public. I would only link it to your clients and those interested.

If you get to the point where you think you should use it (and share it), I would recommend only posting promotions and letting people write on your wall (iirc, you can set to allow people's wall posts to show right up on your wall). Do NOT write about politics, sports, or pretty much any of your opinions that aren't complete circle jerks. You want to be on everyone's good side, not just the people who like Obama or the people who want the Cardinals to win (ha).
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

Personally I would figure the company would want to reach out in some way to their customers.. be it a tweet now and then on what's happening (or new products), or engaging in some sort of contest/product promotion on facebook. It's there.. people are using it.. and why not? It also helps with a positive view bump when you take a complaint from facebook/twitter and address it.

As for viewing the likes - meh.. I may eyeball what people are saying or what the company is saying, but I am not going to chose one company over a similar because one has six million likes and other has thirty. Especially if it's a local company. I can smell when someone's stacking the BS deck of false likes... now that would piss me off.

In closing - yes.. have'em and spend the ten minutes checking them/updating them a week. Am I swayed by girthy like-bins, no. Am I annoyed by fake likes.. yes.
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#5 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:19 PM

Thanks for your contributions to the thread so far. Except for Modi's first post.. >(

Okay, so you both have pointed out so far that it could have benefits for yourself if you keep up on it. What about if a client asks for advice on whether or not they should implement some social pages and you know they'll only wind up with a handful of likes and followers? It's kind of how creativecoding mentions that even if you have 50, that a competitor with 150 will look more appealing. If it hardly brings in any business, if any at all, is it still worth having those pages created and out in the public? Or does it boost the businesses image to get rid of these things that make them look "small" and less popular than joe schmo's restaurant down the street?

Modi, you mention a promotion on facebook or a tweet for new products, but what if only about 5 people follow the accounts? lol. I am not trying to push social media status as make or break your business, but I am wondering if it possibly is negative to the image of a small business. If someone googles x kind of restaurant in x small city and finds a restaurant's facebook and sees it has 5 likes and there's a restaurant below it that has 275 likes, does that sway a potential customer into thinking the 275 liked page is better(I know you don't care, modi, but what about the public in general)? See what I am getting at..? It's like, you might get business from the handful of people who see your facebook posts, but what about the random people who stumble upon your page from a search engine..

I guess what really sways me is there are services out there where you can buy facebook likes, twitter followers, youtube subscribers, etc. If they are making money, surely these "status" things matter to the public?

This is just something I've been thinking about for a bit in a way to have a better strategy in marketing! I love designing & developing, but I also love the business side as well and maximizing potential for profit. Still hoping for some more responses, guys!
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:34 PM

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Thanks for your contributions to the thread so far. Except for Modi's first post.. >(

Lighten up - it's the internet...

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What about if a client asks for advice on whether or not they should implement some social pages and you know they'll only wind up with a handful of likes and followers?

Well then encourage them to use it. If they don't - then hey.. at least they have another avenue for google to index their location information and what have you.

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I am wondering if it possibly is negative to the image of a small business.

I would think not. Again - another avenue for searching and even stale information is something. Now a bunch of shitty complaints I may take more critically.

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If someone googles x kind of restaurant in x small city and finds a restaurant's facebook and sees it has 5 likes and there's a restaurant below it that has 275 likes, does that sway a potential customer into thinking the 275 liked page is better(I know you don't care, modi, but what about the public in general)?

Why the heck would it? A like doesn't translate to good food. Taco Johns (notorious for serving steer face) has 111,798 likes. Though the local mexican joint that is bomb-dot-com food only has twelve (and the base template page facebook setup for them when indexing the yellow pages). You are over thinking this.

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It's like, you might get business from the handful of people who see your facebook posts, but what about the random people who stumble upon your page from a search engine..

GREAT! They found another page for the company! Awesome! Another bit of information, an address, or even hours that could help someone. That is nothing but pure win there.

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I guess what really sways me is there are services out there where you can buy facebook likes, twitter followers, youtube subscribers, etc. If they are making money, surely these "status" things matter to the public?

Yeah.. so can collecting all the achievements on really crappy videogames. Does it make you a better player? No - it just says I like shiny virtual trinkets to show off to people. If I see a local joint with a million likes then I raise an eyebrow and ask who is buying likes and why.

If you don't feel comfortable answering these sorts of question then find a 'social media' consultant and have them field the questions.
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#7 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

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Lighten up - it's the internet...


Exactly! You may need to browse mozilla's plug-in foundry for a sarcasm detector. ;)/>/>


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Why the heck would it? A like doesn't translate to good food. Taco Johns (notorious for serving steer face) has 111,798 likes. Though the local mexican joint that is bomb-dot-com food only has twelve (and the base template page facebook setup for them when indexing the yellow pages). You are over thinking this.


I think you're missing the point. It doesn't translate into good food at all, but it translates into "status"/popularity. Do you think Mcdonald's has great tasting food? I don't. Sure a small mom & pop shop might have better food, but they are in no way more popular than Mcdonalds and won't generate the same social traffic. So Mcdonalds would have more likes and worse food, and the small shop wouldn't have many likes and better food. I'm not referring to the product itself in my post as to which is better, I am referring to the image of the business and popularity. You can serve terrible food, but if you're popular, you are making money because people will come back or try you out for the first time. I don't believe I am over thinking this, I just think you're not connecting the dots of how a business makes money. Popular = growing and unpopular = bad regardless if your food is good. If you aren't popular yet, you don't want to bring attention to that.

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Yeah.. so can collecting all the achievements on really crappy videogames. Does it make you a better player? No - it just says I like shiny virtual trinkets to show off to people. If I see a local joint with a million likes then I raise an eyebrow and ask who is buying likes and why.


I don't really see the connection between using twitter to boost your business image and an achievement on a video game...? lol. I can see you're more of a programmer than a business kind of guy, which is alright since we're on a programming forum! You're more concerned with leaving a footprint of the website and that's good. I get the upside to that and how all that works. I was just more so thinking of a way to boost the image of a business in any way possible and social media crossed my mind.

I guess my conclusion is that it's beneficial if you can generate enough traffic, but doesn't look too great for your image if you're only attracting a few people.
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#8 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

Okay - before I address the patronizing and now insulting parts of this let's get a few things out of the way.

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Sure a small mom & pop shop might have better food, but they are in no way more popular than Mcdonalds and won't generate the same social traffic.
...
Popular = growing and unpopular = bad regardless if your food is good. If you aren't popular yet, you don't want to bring attention to that.

What's the end game of this? Small businesses shouldn't try? That connecting with their fan base or their customers is not worth it unless you hit x-million likes? That's just a silly notion. How are they to build their image if they are not allowed to start? OF COURSE they should try. Of course they should connect. It's free.. it's available.. make use out of it. Throw in yelp, google reviews, amazon, and angie's list as well.

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I don't really see the connection between using twitter to boost your business image and an achievement on a video game...?

The connection is you are viewing them as virtual achievements and trying to associate something there that really isn't perceived. Clearly a one store mom and pop deli in Cleveland isn't going to have the world wide hit count that McD's will, but their fans/followers/readers (who are probably local anyways) do deserve some sort of attention and interaction.

Case in point - there's a guy and his wife that hand make leather goods in Colorado. They don't do a huge number of sales nor have a huge following, but I have bough things specifically from them because their rapport with their small cadre of followers is great.

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I guess my conclusion is that it's beneficial if you can generate enough traffic, but doesn't look too great for your image if you're only attracting a few people.

If you don't let them try to *have* an image then it's all for naught. Comparing megacorps against mom and pop isn't a fair assessment... even if it's a few tweets a month, or an updated product shot on facebook every so often it's a good shake. By not having more information I think it's a determent than having a few updates now and then.

So no.. I think if you scale the traffic needs relative to the business then you see there is a payoff.


[quote]I don't believe I am over thinking this, I just think you're not connecting the dots of how a business makes money. [quote]

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lol. I can see you're more of a programmer than a business kind of guy,

Thanks - I appreciate the backhanded what evers there. You totes nailed that pigeon hole you put me in. You know.. those damn programmers - they only know one thing and never stray outside of that drawn circle. :rolleyes:
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#9 wordswords  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

Blah. Arguments. tl;dr.

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lol. I can see you're more of a programmer than a business kind of guy,


To be honest, I think this is very true in general of forums like this. Although there is certainly a lot of expertise on the programming side of things, social media marketing is a whole separate discipline of marketing in general, and programmers are generally not marketeers (and visa versa). So you'd be better off asking this question on a specialist forum.
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#10 creativecoding  Icon User is online

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Re: Are social media pages worth having?

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:26 PM

Modi you talked about a Mexican place having only a few likes compared to a nasty restaurant having many... The difference being the Mexican place having amazing food while the restaurant has horrible food... That's not the point. The point is the restaurant is rolling in the dough as people eat at their place, while the Mexican place is making... well, whatever an average small Mexican joint makes.

And your notion that likes are mere worthless internet points that mean nothing is, well, not totally true. While I wish I could agree with you, I cannot. It's the same reason you can actually buy likes - they represent something. A high score in a video game represents skill. A high amount of points in a sports game represents skill over the opposing team. And a high amount of likes on a Facebook page vs competitors, represents popularity and size of the business.

While people like you, Modi, realize that likes do not represent quality, other people may not. The average person who's looking for companies to hire over facebook probably wouldn't realize that in fact, smaller companies might produce better results for the lower price. And when it looks like your company is really popular and well-received by so many people, naturally others will go with the herd.
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