Is Social Media Overrated?
It’s pretty crazy how social media has become such a huge buzz word lately. You can’t really open a marketing publication without seeing an article on social media marketing, Twitter, or Facebook. The problem is that this hype could convince naive marketers that social media is the silver bullet, the only marketing strategy a company needs.
Social media is NOT the end all be all of online marketing. It is simple ONE facet of what should be a complex campaign. In an effort to better explain whats required for a successful social media campaign, I’ve outlined a few pointers all marketers should keep in mind.
Social Media Alone Isn’t Enough
Have a marketing strategy that only depends on social media is like having a dinner that’s only desert. Social media is fun, it’s sexy, but it’s not going to be able to sell your business by itself.
Too many businesses are on Facebook or Twitter, sending their customers to a lackluster website. Your marketing campaign needs to take into account branding, search engine optimization, buzz tracking, and conversion optimization.
Social media is not the only part of online marketing. You need to make sure you’re online presence is in order, that your website is perfect, before you start building outwards.
Think about it this way, why would you advertise in a newspaper if your store has broken glass everywhere? It’s the same, why would you use Facebook to drive consumers to your website if it’s not in good shape?
You Need a Strategy
Do you know what you’re doing? Do you have a plan? Is there a goal? How are you tracking the goal? What constitutes a success? Why are you spending the money? What’s your message?
If you can’t answer these questions, then you don’t actually know what you’re not really using social media to market your business. Instead, you’re just joining social media platforms in an effort to be there.
That might work for some people but most of the time, businesses end up frustrating consumers. If you don’t plan a message or how you want to use the platform, you will confuse your consumers.
Allocate Resources Intelligently
Whenever you hear someone say “social media marketing is cheap, it just takes time”, I want you to smack them. Time is money. In the time you take to update your Facebook page you could’ve done something else that may have made you money.
Here’s the thing though, it’s all the could have’s and may’s. Social media marketing might have a return on investment, but we’re not sure yet. It’s up to you to define goals that are indicators of revenue. Regardless, you’ll have to try it to figure out if you should continue using social media.
Have a small business that sells niche power tools online? Well how many of your Facebook fans went to your product page? How many are passionate customers that you see over and over again? Is your fan page growing? Answer these questions and tweak how much time you dedicate to your online presence.
Dictates Culture Shifts
The true power of social media marketing is not that it allows you to use Facebook and Twitter to connect with your consumers. It’s the fact that the idea of connecting with your consumers is important again.
Somehow we lost sight of the fact that people want personalization. We want to be special when we buy something. Social media marketing requires a company reassess how they interact with their customers.
Because of how easy it is for a customer to share their experiences online, small businesses are required to think about their PR and customer service. Businesses have to be cognizant of what their consumers think of them.
Social media marketing is dictating that businesses adapt how they market themselves. Consumers are able to find good businesses easier. Social media is making sure businesses put customers first.
Social media is powerful if done right. Regardless of how powerful it is, it cannot be your entire online strategy. Businesses need to realize that online marketing has multiple parts and each needs to be included in the overall marketing campaign.