Social Media Marketing – Questions By The Numbers

Social media marketing is all the rage in the media! For our small biz owners it has become a must have line item in their advertising budget, but does the hype match the numbers. Here is my take on a really cool infographic from Mashable about the numbers behind social media!

Social Media Marketing - By The NumbersSo let’s start out on the right foot – some of the numbers are for brands like Coca Cola with VERY deep pockets. Our small business owners and entrepreneurs are much less likely to have budgets to match big brands like AE Games and Under Armour, BUT we can take some tips from them for our own social media marketing efforts!


The Good About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

Social media marketing - what to share4 Billion – The number of things shared on Facebook every day. Facebook is a place for sharing information about your business in a SOCIAL way, not a “sell my stuff” way. Using Facebook to curate content is a wonderful way to make yourself a thought leader in your space. Additionally you CAN use it to sell, just not directly. So, for a realtor, they can post a picture with a message that they saw a great house that their first time home buyer did not like but which they thought was great! This Realtor has just said a number of different things, first that they are still in business (sad but true, people need to hear this frequently in this day and age). Second that they work with first time home buyers and third they have the opportunity that ANOTHER buyer might raise their hand and ask questions about that house.

400 – the number of checkins at New York Steak House Angelo & Maxie’s in 45 days. Holy cow, if this is the number on an infographic, it is a pretty big number. I can’t help but think that with a little bit of a concerted effort, our restaurant marketing customers could get numbers like that in 45 days! Simply by offering a free drink with proof of checkin, you could get a fair number of people to sign up per day, and all you need is 10 a day to make it!

The Bad About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

65.5 Million – the number of plays for Evian’s “Roller Skating Babies” over 2 years. The thing that drives me mad about this is…wait for it…how much more water did they sell? Did paying A LOT of money to have CGI babies made actually increase the sales of their product. With over 290,000 results on google for a search about this campaign, I was unable to find out how much the ad cost or the ROI on the campaign. Our clients see numbers in the millions and want that for their videos. Let me tell you, the chances of a video about a dog bed going viral are nil. The better thing for small biz owners to do is make great videos and A LOT of them. The more videos you have, the more of a chance that you will find an audience who comes back again and again as raging fans.

Propaganda About How Great The Ad Is
Skating Babies Make Evian Commercial a YouTube Hit [Video]

52% – the percent of ACTIVE Facebook users that use the site each day. – people see the 52% and think it is half of 750 million. Not so, it is half of the number of active users which Facebook does not post on their Facebook Stats page.

4 Billion – The number of things shared on Facebook every day. This is a tricky one because it was in the good things too! The fact that 4 BILLION things get shared means that your sharing is less than a drop in the bucket and that the chances of everyone seeing your post is non-existant. I have to tell you, I have close to 4,000 friends and I know that the number people that actually see what I post is a much smaller number than that. Facebook picks and chooses among the things that your friends post to see if they are “important” enough to show you in the Recent Feeds. Unfortunately for me, they do not think that my Father In Law’s or husband’s posts are interesting enough to show me. If I cannot see family posts, what are the chances that your customers are seeing your sales messages?

The Ugly About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

$1.34 – Eventbrite sales driven by a Facebook Like as compared to just 80 cents for a tweet – This to me is INCREDIBLY telling. While we can pay for fake likes for our clients, having them will not increase sales or ROI. That means that the cost of getting real likes has increased dramatically along with cost per sale for those people who do like the page. Twitter, on the other hand with their open system, allows us to post and follow and interact globally without the increased cost of Facebook’s closed system.

11% – the percentage of people who say they would buy something that was only offered to Facebook fans – So you work up a huge Facebook campaign, pay Facebook to get users to your fan page (there has been a 70&#37 increase in the price of Facebook ads during the first half of 2011) and then have the slight chance that one of those 11 out of a hundred would buy? Give me a break.

Social Media Marketing By The Numbers Wrap Up

I am sure if you have gotten this far you think I am anti social media marketing which is weird because that is what we sell! I am SO NOT anti social media marketing, I am anti social media hype. We spend a good part of the day explaining to clients that social media is like the yellow pages of old:

  1. You have to have a social media presence to be in business. The yellow pages cost about $800 per month and was just a cost of doing business. You had to have your company in there or people did not know you were in business. Social media is like that!
  2. Your customers and potential customers WILL check to see if you are active on these social media platforms. Think about it, if you were going to hire someone and pay them thousands of dollars, don’t you think you would google them to see what is going on with them? The surprising thing is that even if they are going to pay you $60, they are still checking to see if you are a viable company.
  3. The Yellow Pages didn’t sell anything. For some reason, social media customers think that their Facebook Fan Page is going to sell for them. The Yellow Pages did not sell for them so why should social media. In the good old days, you would get a phone call and someone would ask about your business and what you had to offer. THEN then would come down and check you out. OR they would come down to see you and a salesperson would approach and say, “how can I help you?”, after which you might make a sale.

I think that if small business owners look at social media marketing services as a way to increase brand awareness, lead generate and stay in communication with customers and prospects, they will probably be happy with the results. If they think that social media marketing is going to bring hordes of buyers knocking down their doors, they are probably going to be sadly disappointed AND don’t get me started on how long it takes to grow big networks, that is definitely a post for a different time!


  1. says

    Great article! Thank you for posting. I shared it with my own social networks.

    This is actually a topic that I come across frequently with small business owners while discussing their strategies. Many (not all) business owners feel that they *need* to be on social media, but they tend to have a very sales-focused look at it. Often they don’t realistically understand how it can help them as a business.

    I’ve been asked (many, many times) how quickly they can expect sales from their tweeting or FB posts. My response is always the same: social media is like any other networking event. You’re there to build relationships and awareness. The likelihood that you’ll make a sale at a given networking event is very low. But you may meet a couple good contacts who many recommend you to someone who may bring you a sale a couple months or years down the road.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that social media is an avenue to build brand awareness. It’s also a way of making it easier for people to find you and learn about you, just like the yellow pages you mentioned. People buy more often from referrals or word of mouth than traditional advertising, and you are most likely to make a sale if they seek your services out than if you push your awesomeness on them when they don’t need it.


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