Advertising in the Social Media Marketplace – Getting to the Head of the Line
Several well-known social media companies do business in the social networking space, particularly LinkedIn (primarily used to hire personnel) and Facebook (where friends and family connect). Each has a strong consumer base and some users visit for business reasons, but arguably no one goes to shop, to make an actual purchase.
Businesses that place their products on eBay for example, are forced to sit on an online ‘shelf’ with all the other products, many of which are direct competitors. Simple branding, like developing top of mind awareness, product differentiation, and consumer loyalty is elusive in this setting. That’s why, years ago, radio ads asked listeners to, "look for us in the white pages." Who wants to direct prospects to a listing of every company active in your space?
Sellers and buyers are always looking for a better way to do deals online
Recognizing that social media is not the same as selling, and that selling in a sea of competitors is not efficient, we believe businesses are ready to go to something that works better. Deal Acceleration’s core purpose is to help businesses grow. We connect buyers to a landing page, where they can view a broad array of products and services. They can easily click the ones they like or search for others. Our search is unique, in that it helps users drill down to find the right choice globally - even for the smallest business. Once users find the product, service, or business they want, they click a link to go directly to the seller’s site and make a purchase.
This ability for buyers to easily search our database of businesses and click once to go to the seller’s purchase page—on any retail, channel, or other website—allows them to effectively bypass the clutter vying for their attention. When a buyer clicks the link to a business’s website, he or she is taken to the purchase page, not the homepage. No wading through more noise to get to the "buy" button. This means real return on investment for sellers who drive audiences to their profile page on Deal Acceleration.
Additionally, Deal Acceleration provides advertising services that move participants to the front of the line to drive revenue and awareness. Deal Acceleration’s overall combination of services provides the most interactive and comprehensive set of amenities, tools, social media sharing, and messaging capabilities giving users and companies a top caliber selling and buying experience, as well as an ability to connect businesses to address broader operational and functional concerns.
Here are the specific technologies that help us provide this experience.
We consolidate traditional message-based social media pages so companies can connect with their audience through topical messages, coupons, discounts, special offers, incentives, and supporting audio or video files for free.
Deal Acceleration has the ability to partner with large online retailers to allow their sellers or customers to link directly to products or service to enable quick purchases.
We offer a comprehensive and unique ability to search out, find, and connect with companies and sellers.
We enable direct connection to partnered retail sites, providing an ability to put specific product or service types and/or their individual sellers at the front of the line for customers to find and purchase.
We enable direct connection to partnered retail sites, providing an ability to put specific product or service types, and/or their individual sellers at the front of the line for customers to find and purchase.
The bottom line to getting to the head of the line is to rethink your social media presence by talking with Deal Acceleration. Talking is free. Not acting, not optimizing your presence in this new marketplace can be costly.
The Benefits of Deal Acceleration for Businesses in Social Media
By now, we all have our own idea of what social media is. But do we understand what social media is for us as businesspeople? Think about it – what do people go to Facebook for? Are they looking to buy? No. They are looking for the latest updates posted by their family or friends. They are looking to play games.
What do people go to LinkedIn for? Are they looking for market share? No. They are looking to connect with colleagues or perhaps find a job.
And what about Twitter? Do business people Tweet to identify brands and suppliers? No, they go to participate in popular discussions and follow trends.
So is social media for business an oxymoron? Until now, mostly yes. Mostly.
You see, there is a company being born out of the frustration that the emphasis with social media is all about the social. Social media is more than a billion users and nowhere is there an organized way to buy and sell. All chatter and almost no commerce. So if social media could be morphed into a platform for business, or an online retail marketplace, what would it look like? It might very well look like the online company whose tag line is:
Imagine one social network where buyers and sellers connect seamlessly
Connect seamlessly? Buyers and sellers? A real online marketplace where customers can search, find, and buy? How? It’s clear that businesses that understand how to play in the social media space can look forward to expanding, to connecting with customers resulting in growth and a real return on their investment in this online marketplace, this virtual bazaar.
Businesses that understand how to play in the social media space can build marketing and advertising campaigns based on their individual profiles that make them uniquely findable in the maze of soul-crushing competition and chaos that is the landscape of social media.
This new company, this new online retailing idea, gives these businesses that understand the social media space a shot at linking their website to this company’s website, making it a powerful way to drive high volumes of traffic, converting browsers into sales, directly benefiting from the linkage, rather than struggling to get to the front of the line.
Surely a social media marketing platform like this must be expensive? Actually, it’s mostly free. Sure if you start doing a high volume of revenue generating business, there is a small, fixed subscription fee, but the risk is never more than about $50 a year.
Given the lack of financial risk, nothing should be stopping you from taking advantage of this opportunity by signing up at www.dealacceleration.com You owe it to yourself, to your company, to start leveraging social media in your favor and Deal Acceleration can be the social media platform that accomplishes this for you.
The Benefits of being a Deal Acceleration Consumer
If you’re typical of most online users, you’re online for one of two main reasons:
Let’s talk about your shopping experiences. If you’re typical, you have a long list of bookmarks of the online retailers you want to keep ordering from.
So what? We all have long lists. But what if there was a way to keep the lists, but save time and improve the odds that you’ll be getting the best value when you shop online in the future?
May I suggest you go to www.DealAcceleration.com and take a look around. First of all, you’ll see that it’s free. You can create your own social media account as a consumer. Second, you’ll get the benefit of putting all your favorite online businesses, products, and services in one place. Third, because Deal Acceleration is social media retail, you get to interact with your favorite online retailers. That long list of bookmarked URLs becomes a two-way exchange of your interacting with your vendors and your vendors interacting with you. You no longer have to navigate through intermediate links to find the products and services you want to buy. Your favorites page now connects you directly to where you want to shop.
Also, because this is social media, your issues and complaints are addressed directly and your favorite retailers can now tell you about the latest products and services. Now that’s social media worth the time spent.
Real Return on Investment from Advertising Investments in Social Media
A number of technology observers see Social Media is as the next big thing. At the moment, the early adopters of the Social Media space have been the bloggers and picture posters, the gamers and the Tweeters. Users by the billions are spending time participating in Social Media, but businesses have been slow to capitalize on built-in markets of consumers for everything that can be consumed.
So if your business is standing on the outside looking for a way in, let’s talk about how to benefit from being a successful Social Media company. The first thing you will need to do is let the massive market know who you are. The way this has been traditionally done is by advertising, and Social Media is no exception. You have to advertise to be seen in this new online marketplace.
Still, the Social Media landscape is new and most businesses do not know how to interact with it. Many avoid this space because they feel advertising here is too much of a gamble. Actually, looking at investing advertising dollars in the online, Social Media space as a gamble is a good strategy. Gamblers who succeed in the gambling world, do so because they understand the odds. As Kenny Rogers once observed, they know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Applying this logic to advertising in Social Media means knowing your return on investment or ROI.
Measuring your return on investment is measuring increases in revenue as an outcome of investing in advertising. There is no magic, no mythical forces at work here. If you invest 10x in advertising and see a 20x increase in revenues, you are deemed reasonable to conclude that your return is double your investment.
So how do you accomplish this in the Social Media marketplace? The question is valid given the lack of business focus by the leaders in this space. These are companies that dominate in numbers of users, but who have yet been slow to figure out how to monetize this space. So it seems reasonable to look for a Social Media presence that has a business plan to monetize Social Media already in place. One such company is Deal Acceleration.
Yes, Deal Acceleration is new, but if you can measure your return on investment, you should be able to justify investing a limited amount of your advertising budget, for example - 20%, and letting Deal Acceleration help you drive customers to your products page at DealAcceleration.com. The result predictably will be a real return on your investment as your sales and revenues increase.
The Price of Promotions
In the real world, free promotions usually elicit caution because experience has taught that you get what you pay for. If it’s free, it can’t be of value. It is at best a bright shiny loss leader to attract our attention, so a huckster can trick us into spending real money on some thing or some service we would not otherwise have given a second thought to.
This is true of the brick and mortar world of retail with their ‘free points programs’ and the service world with their frequent buyer programs. So this must be true of the emerging social media marketplace as well, right?
Well actually…maybe not. The economies of scale, of volume in traditional retail and service depend on giving up a real, but limited cost (a free dinner, a free movie, a free car wash) with the expectation that for every one of something given away for free, the business will experience a two-fold, a four-fold, a ten-fold increase in purchases of these or more pricy products or services. The economies of scale in the online, social media marketplace are not about ten-fold increases. They are about thousand-fold increases, million-fold increases, and more.
The logic is very much the same regardless of the marketplace. In the brick and mortar world, you give away a movie ticket with the expectation, if you do it right, of selling twice, four times, ten times as many tickets. Online, you give away two hours of free entertainment downloads with the expectation of selling a thousand fold subscriptions to a movie download service.
This works for the simple reason that product or service promotions for physical businesses is limited by the physical markets served, by the hours and staff available to process the free stuff. But the virtual world of social media has no physical limits, has no hours, has few if any resource constraints.
So when you see something promoted as being free in the online world of social media enterprise, maybe you should take a look, because the vendor can likely afford to price the real products and services behind the free promotions, as real bargains. The economics are flipped between the physical and the virtual. A movie theater may accept the risk of giving away 100 free tickets and hope to attract a thousand new patrons to end up with a profitable promotion. But an online movie streaming service can afford to offer a hundred thousand free connections because maybe a thousand users will try it, like it, and sign up to be new subscribers. And maybe that’s all this online service needs to yield to be profitable.
A real example of the logic of free having real value to both buyers and sellers, is the free campaign being promoted by Deal Acceleration (dealacceleration.com). “Sign Up Now – It’s Free” is prominent on their website. If you are a consumer, you can create an account and a sharable profile to announce to the Deal Acceleration universe what it is you want to consume. And the Deal Acceleration universe will hear you and respond. For free.
If you are a business, you can sign up and create a sharable profile that announces what it is you are selling. That too is free. Well, it is free, as long as you are unsuccessful at selling anything. If you are like most businesses, you don’t value time spent failing to sell. You analyze, you investigate, you ask for help, until you find your market, your customer base. Then you start to sell. That’s when your Deal Acceleration account stops being free. But because this is the online world of social media, subscription fees don’t need to go from free to expensive. No, the online world is the world of billions of people. So Deal Acceleration reasons that charging a $49.99 annual fee for any year in which a business actually sells in the social media space, is enough. And it makes sense when you realize that the Deal Acceleration business model works well when there are millions of users, but it works even better when there are billions of users. A billion times a small number is still a very large number. So Deal Acceleration can realize large revenue streams from small fees, if the number of users is large. Businesses being businesses in the online space know that a successful website is one that attracts a lot of hits. Being social media, any business that creates an account on Deal Acceleration, also benefits from the installed base of all the other businesses who sign up. So Deal Acceleration just needs to attract businesses looking to grow. That is a shrewd understanding of the concept of win-win. Don’t believe me, go see for yourself at: www.dealacceleration.com You have nothing to lose – after all, it’s free.
A Better Way to Search
One aspect of social media that makes sense for using it to buy and sell, is the connectedness of it all.
That connectedness has not been obvious, because if it had, the uses which people have put social media to would have started with commerce, instead of purely social or even professional communication.
To help put this into focus, imagine looking at buying and selling just a few years ago. Imagine that the want ads section of a major regional newspaper has an ad for say a 1957, red and white Chevy, fully restored. In another major newspaper serving the same area, there is an ad that someone placed wanting to buy a 1957, fully restored Chevy, preferably red and white.
What are the odds that the seller and the buyer will find each other? Perhaps the buyer will spend the time crawling the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of ads in every regional newspaper’s want ads sections. More likely, the buyer and the seller will not meet. Perhaps the seller will find a willing buyer, if the price is right. Perhaps the buyer will find a seller of a similar car – a 1958, turquoise Chevy station wagon needing work and perhaps this seller will know that there is a buyer out there with the exact match for what this buyer is looking for. Perhaps this seller will forgo his sale in the interest of helping this buyer out. Right – not going to happen.
So what does this have to do with social media? For one, you don’t have the siloing effect of limiting ads to individual newspapers. In the social media marketplace, you have a seller who lists what he is selling – for example, a 1957 Chevy. In the same marketplace, you have a buyer who advertises that they want to buy a 1957 Chevy. Leveraging the search technology available, the connectedness of the social media marketplace ‘sees’ the match and puts the two parties in touch. With this search technology, seller’s items are tagged as specific items for sale and buyer’s desired items are tagged as specific items to buy. The logic of this search technology matches the two items and connects the buyer to the seller. Imagine that! You want to buy something and all you have to do is say so and the next thing you know, you are being contacted by sellers who have exactly what you want to buy.
Great idea isn’t it? But wait, before you go running off to enter items to buy or sell in Google, you should know that this great idea actually belongs to a social media marketing company named Deal Acceleration. Sure Google will return millions of hits in milliseconds, but the hits are not filtered for relevance. That 1957 Chevy you are looking for will return every website with 1,9,5, and 7 as well as ‘Chevy’. You’ll get the person (that is, Mr. Chase), the place (in Maryland), you’ll get the company, you’ll get a history lesson about what happened in 1957. What you likely won’t get is a car to buy.
This interactive keyword focused search engine is patented by Deal Acceleration, which means you will need to go to Deal Acceleration to benefit from it. The good news is that it’s free for consumers and nominally priced for businesses. The newspapers that are still operating, can’t touch that price.
Go to www.dealacceleration.com and find out for yourself.
Deal Acceleration and Social Media
Deal Acceleration, a Company Born of Social Media, for Social Media Commerce. It’s a safe assumption that most people have heard the term ‘social media’. Most people have a good idea that it describes a type of website that promotes social interaction. Social media is all about the novelty of Facebook and LinkedIn attracting massive attention and skyrocketing membership rolls. And that is so 2014.
The novelty has started to fade as people come away from Tweeting, blogging, and Instagramming. It has become clear that social media satisfies a human need to interact, but it is lousy at scratching the itch to buy and sell. Sure there is a good solution for online buying and Amazon does a fine job of filling that need, but you quickly notice that Amazon is about making products available to buyers, but it does little for businesses. Yes, there are perhaps more than a million businesses playing in the Amazon co-op space, but from a consumer vantage, you’d hardly notice the business behind the product. Businesses can’t grow and thrive with a handful of products being available online almost anonymously. While this isn’t an immediate problem for consumers, it leaves businesses starving for markets. For the online marketplace to thrive, businesses and consumers have to thrive together. So what’s the solution? Glad you asked.
Deal Acceleration adds more sales value than other social media sites. Our users enjoy a comprehensive user experience, using search and social media tools that are comfortable and effortless. The Deal Acceleration website is an interactive platform designed to support business transactions, combining online marketing and sales functions with a robust social networking functionality. In merging these different — but complementary — online tools, we have created a powerful selling and purchasing apparatus not available elsewhere.
The interactivity provides advantages to Deal Acceleration and its users:
Community members become Deal Acceleration advocates
Networking and purposeful conversation are supported by our unique combination of online tools
Information exchange is faster through our search and social media functionality
This Deal Acceleration website serves both the seller and the buyer by accelerating product search, product selection, outbound seller communications (marketing and advertising) and buyer query and input. Most importantly, Deal Acceleration promotes and facilitates the buyer-seller conversation, so necessary in today’s online marketplace. It's effectively creating the first social media site designed to facilitate transactions among businesses and consumers.
If you are a business looking to have an online retail presence, check out www.dealacceleration.com . If you are a consumer, you have nothing to lose by signing up – it’s free.
The Real Price of Free
So why should we be motivated to investigate the benefits of Deal Acceleration just because of claims that it is free? Sure, free usually limits the risk of trying out something new. But things that are free usually end up being worth what they cost – nothing. Right?
It is easy to understand that customers who sign up for Deal Acceleration should be welcomed at no cost. After all, successful businesses work hard at making the shopping experience pleasant, safe, and well, free. Obviously, they do this because they know getting a consumer to look at their goods or services is the key to actually getting a sale or closing a deal. But businesses? Businesses expect to pay for everything. Shrewd business folk expect to get what they pay for. On the surface, trying to attract new businesses to a site like www.dealacceleration.com by saying that it costs nothing to try, doesn’t seem to make good business sense. If Deal Acceleration is worth the time and experience, it should cost something – not a lot, maybe $10,000 to sign up and $2500 a year to renew. For that investment, I as a businessman, would expect access to customers I don’t now already have. For that, I should have an advertising platform that I can use to grow my business. For that expenditure, I expect at least a tenfold return. For that cost of admission, I expect to get a competitive advantage. I want to invest in business growth that will help my business stand out from my competition. How can free do any of that?
Actually, it can’t. Deal Acceleration isn’t saying it is free in the long run. It is taking a risk, betting on the future, that making this online, social media marketplace free to join will result in more businesses, especially more mom and pop businesses that can’t readily invest ten of thousands of dollars, and that will ultimately yield a large result. Deal Acceleration is betting that say 50 million business users makes for a rich and attractive commercial experience that at say $50 a year is an impressive five billion a year enterprise - just on registration fees. And coincidently, $50 a year is precisely (well, $49.99 actually) what Deal Acceleration is charging. Going one step further to attract users first and make money second, Deal Acceleration doesn’t charge this fee to join. It charges the fee after a business user makes the first sale. Then and only then does that business user owe the $49.99 fee which is good for the next 365 days regardless of the number of successive sales during that year. Make one sale or a million, that one single annual fee doesn’t change.
So don’t take a risk. But do take the time to sign up for a business account at dealacceleration.com and follow the Sign Up Now – It’s Free links. The worst that can happen is nothing, because you do nothing. On the other hand, if you invest a fraction of your time and energy into creating your Deal Acceleration page, you just might be surprised at the power of social media to magnify efforts. That’s how small things catch fire, go viral, and become huge things. You’ll never know if you don’t try and don’t let the fact that it’s free slow you down.
The Dark Social Factor in Social Media Advertising
Recent news coverage has exposed us to The Silk Road, The Dark Net, and the hidden Internet. Now a recent article by Rupert Staines, alerts us that ‘Dark Social’ is a missing piece to the social media space. All these articles stem from the realization that social media is an undeveloped new frontier for businesses who can stand to benefit from effective advertising to the huge audiences in this space.
While the cautionary tales are appropriate and appreciated, the Dark Net is indeed a space where illegal activities can happen. But the Dark Net isn’t called that, because it is the Wild West of online networking. No, the Dark Net got its name from the annoying fact that it is not searchable with conventional online tools like Google. That illegal behavior can hide in the Dark Net, so can a lot of other activities such as research and data archival.
Similarly, Dark Social isn’t about online perverts lurking about and seeking to prey on unsuspecting online users. Dark Social, as coined by Alexis C. Madrigal, who was an editor at The Atlantic, simply describes social media activities that are hidden from search algorithms. The point was that attempts to quantify social media traffic were deeply flawed, because as much as 80% of online traffic is invisible to Google and Yahoo.
That startling statistic has been waved around as justification that all online advertising campaigns are doomed to fail, because being invisible means social media traffic quantification is pointless.
What those who purport to know what constitutes dark social interaction (largely gaming and blogging not widely shared) fail to acknowledge, is that the value of advertising in the social media space is found in the 20% that is searchable. Remember, 20% of a huge social media audience measuring in the hundreds....?, is still a very large number. And more importantly, that 20% of traffic that is searchable, is traffic that likely has a business vector that can be analyzed and quantified.
There is also another factor at play here. Social media emerged with a focus on connections, not on business. Now with companies like Deal Acceleration (www.dealacceleration.com), what had been dark, because there was no business place to consolidate traffic, now has a place to come into the light. For businesses to eschew joining the social media space, because they have been warned off with dire reports that there are not enough customers or even other businesses, it looks like it is time to rethink advertising budgets. Actually, Deal Acceleration has a program in which an investment of 10% of your advertising budget, is expected to return disproportionately high returns when compared with traditional advertising campaigns.
It’s time to focus on social media, dark or otherwise.
Youth and Social Media
A recent Pew Research Center report stated what for most of us was the obvious – that social media is dominated by youth. What may not be so obvious is that age appears to be the only significant determinant of social media adoption. All the other dimensions (location, gender, ethnicity, education, income, etc.) show no significant difference in social media use. Rich and poor, urban and suburban, white, black, Asian, and Latino all follow the age curve – the older one is, the less likely one is to be active in social media.
Another observation is that social media is useful only for socializing. Meaning, if you want to conduct business, you won’t be able to do it in the world of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and the rest of the icons that occupy websites in increasing numbers. Slowly things are starting to change, but back in 2009 it was glaringly clear that social media was one-dimensional. You could connect and reconnect with friends, but you could not buy a Band-Aid.
That seemed wrong to a precocious 12-year old named Ryan Trahan. His father, Chris, was a businessman at a large, Silicon Valley technology company. So Ryan asked his dad, "Why if social media was good at making social connections, was it so bad at making business connections?" Initially Chris didn’t give the idea much thought. He saw social media as a way for users Ryan’s age to spend their time avoiding doing useful things like homework, chores, and finding a job.
But Ryan persisted. He researched the idea and concluded that the main reason that social media didn’t include businesses and customers, was that nobody had thought of it before. So as an exercise, Ryan and his father Chris, worked through the concept, refining it along the way. After much effort and constant improvement, they came to the realization the concept provided real value to businesses and their customers. They set about to build up a core team to start development. In 2009, Ryan founded the company that is today Deal Acceleration. Of course, Chris helped where an adult was required to participate, but the core idea and its implementation was Ryan’s idea, right down to the patents for the online tools that would be needed to support enterprises and their far-flung customers. These were the tools that didn’t exist before, but once developed, made Deal Acceleration the hub for buying and selling, for connecting sellers to sellers, sellers to customers, and customers to customers.
So while it’s true that social media is of the young, it is also by the young. It seems appropriate that in the mind of a pre-teen that what is important in life isn’t (just) insipid tweets about what one had for breakfast; it isn’t (just) about Spring Break photos from a bar in Cancun; it turns out that very young minds can see into the future, perhaps even better than adults. Perhaps unfettered by common sense notions of what won’t work, the young are better suited at inventing the future today. That can be a good thing, because the world they are creating will be the one that they will inhabit as adults.