According to modern folklore, famous criminal Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks. His answer: That’s where the money is. While Sutton as the source of the iconic quote has since been debunked, the ensuing “Sutton’s Law” states that doctors, when diagnosing, should consider the most obvious and likely condition first.
Sutton’s Law could apply to your online marketing efforts. If you’re not “where the money is” these days – on social media sites – then you are less likely to get the lead generation outcome you seek.
Whatever personal opinion you hold on the subject of Facebook, Twitter and the like, the indisputable fact is that millions of people– 78 percent of American adults as of 2016, notes a study by the Pew Research Center – use social media sites, and for many it’s part of their daily routine.
Everyone’s doing it
Lest you argue that social media is just for LOL-ing high-schoolers, consider that the biggest growth in use is from people over 30. (And if senior citizens are your target audience, they’re online, too – at least 65% of adults age 65 and older use social media.)
The obvious conclusion to draw, then, is that customers and prospects you seek are more likely to find you through social media marketing than through direct mail, email, display ads and other vehicles of the past:
- Two-thirds of consumers use search engines for their shopping research.
- Half of consumers spend 75 percent of their shopping time online.
And even beyond reaching customers with your valuable, sharable content, establishing and maintaining a social media presence delivers three more business benefits.
Better Google placements. Following the launch of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms that seek out and penalize spammy web pages, social media began seeing its stock rise in the search results. Widely shared content from Twitter, Google+ and Facebook position you as an authentic and relevant source in Google’s eyes.
Great networking opportunities. Your customers are on Facebook. Your prospects are on Twitter. Your vendors are on LinkedIn. Your job candidates are on Google+. You get the picture: The people who drive your business are using social media marketing services. For every “friend” or “follow” that you offer (or receive), you widen your professional network even more.
Enhanced control of your message. Imagine the outcome if the only information your customers found on a search of your company came from third-party review sites, where anything goes. When you have a social media presence, you have more control over how your products and services are positioned. At the same time, your authoritative content raises your profile as a business authority and even a thought leader.
Set yourself up for success
Sutton’s Law seems tailor-made for businesses exploring social media marketing services. You can take advantage of the most obvious conclusion for lead generation by getting social now. That’s where the money is.