Is Social Media the only Marketing I need?

Atlas Marketing provide social media services

Facebook has been advertising their Live video streaming platform that states people spend three hours a day on Facebook. With a captive audience such as this, it’s no surprise there is a definite appeal to promote your business on social media and that appeal grows daily. Just look at some of these other Facebook specific claims: 

* Over one billion daily active Facebook users worldwide (source: Facebook 2017) 
* Nearly 30 percent of Facebook users are in the 25-34 age group (source: Emarketer 2012) 
* 3 out of 4 females and 2 out of 3 males are on Facebook. (source: Brandwatch) 
* One in five page views in the U.S. occurs on Facebook. (source: Infodocket 2012) 

There is no denying Facebook and other social media platforms should be considered when determining how to address your business marketing. Social media does offer real value, however before you jump in with both feet, we urge you to take a moment to pause and ask yourself a few questions. 

What am I trying to accomplish? 
Social media is an investment of time and resources. As with any marketing tactic, understanding what your goals are and sharing those goals with your team is critical to the overall success. This exercise should be done before running ads, creating business pages, posting, tweeting, etc. 

Who am I trying to reach? 
Admittedly, this question requires deeper insight. With over a billion people on Facebook alone, it’s not a huge leap to think your audience is on social media. That said, you should restructure this question to ask, ‘Is my target audience looking for my products/services on social media?’ For instance, I may need a plumber for my home and I may elicit recommendations from my Facebook friends, but I’m most likely not going to request a quote based on a Facebook ad I saw. 

What do I have to say? 
The answer lies in relationships. Social media is a connection between your business and your customers, your prospects and your community. Think of it as a direct dial to a potential audience. This is where a brand’s personality can take shape and where your corporate reputation can be strengthened or broken. If you build a business page know anyone can comment or say anything about your company. Yes, you can delete posts/tweets, but eyes are always watching. How a company responds to various situations will shape opinions about your company. 

How does social media fit into my marketing campaign? 
Social media is NOT a silver bullet. It must be part of a broader, integrated campaign. People tend to not be shopping for products and services when they are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. That said, they will most likely take to social media to learn more about your company and the products/services you provide. Take the plumber example from earlier. I may have asked the question in my Facebook feed, but before I reached out for a quote, I also looked at the company’s website, may be checked out their brand pages and looked to see if there were any negative reviews. I also noticed if I saw or heard of the company elsewhere: did they sponsor a charity event I recently attended; did I read an article about them; did I see an ad in the paper or local coupon clipper? Remember, most people will do some research before you ever know they are even in need of what you have to offer and this research will include multiple touch points so a consistent message is critical. 

Social media is a major contender for your marketing dollars and in most cases having a presence in some way can be both valuable and beneficial to your company. How you use social media and with what frequency depends on your resources and budget. Yes, it’s a powerful tool, but there is no one size fits all approach to success. Have questions about utilizing social media in your marketing mix? Let us help you navigate the toolbox of marketing tactics available to your business. 

Maximize Messaging to Drive Lead Generation and Sales 

Everyone knows you only get one chance to make a first impression. Those of us working in marketing can attest making that first impression a positive one results in the ultimate goal of increasing sales. To do this, you must be constantly aware of what your potential clients need to make their jobs easier. 

Lead generation campaigns are typically created to rise above the noise of competitors or inject some energy into lackluster industry perceptions. Usually, specific target goals are set with a tight schedule for achieving results. That means the success of the campaign comes down to one thing: creating and delivering the right messaging to express the unique value of the brand and engage with customers to make a lead convert to a customer. 

Business management guru Tom Peters once noted, “In a competitive environment, only those who have a strong unified message – who create and sell quality and value – will survive.” Robust key messages are the vehicles to tell your story. Through focused communication and the creation of concise and persuasive messaging, you gain an advantage in you outreach effort. However, while key messages should be fixed, they should be regularly revisited to ensure needs are still met and demonstrate industry dynamics. 

Assuming your key messages are in place, the following are some steps for using that messaging to maximize sales efforts. 

Step 1: Get Attention 

Make sure your message is simple. People are looking for succinct content they can absorb to make an immediate decision, so keep it short and to the point. It is also important to make sure your messages are directed to your prospect. This may mean making some adjustments to highlight the specific relevancy to your audience, and that’s certainly acceptable. Your core messages are just that, but they need to be relatable. Finally, make your messages are interesting. You definitely don’t want to bore the audience you are trying to make a customer or give them a reason to not want to learn more about your company. 

Step 2: Impact Emotions 

Your messages are concise and direct; they reflect the needs of the potential customer; they tell your story and are thought provoking. Now it’s time for the fancy bells and whistles and by that, I mean the development of stimulating content and visuals that combine to stir the emotions of the audience. A creative approach to delivering strong messages produces a connection with the audience that inspires interest and loyalty to your brand. There is an adage that indicates people buy emotionally, but justify the purchase logically. This is where the emotional connection comes into play. Make sure the story you are telling is one that relates to your prospect. Use examples that matter to them and help them see how your company can make their lives easier. 

Step 3: Win Trust 

Adjusting your messaging to relate to client needs is a key step in the sales process, but transparency is critical to building a trusting relationship with a prospect. You need to make sure the messages you are using to bring the sale to a close is transparent enough that the prospect does not feel like information is being withheld. Creating a trusting relationship is an effective way to deliver shared value for the potential client and reiterate that the company is there to help them. Your messaging will take you so far, but this step requires you to listen as well so your potential client feels that you are hearing their needs and delivering a solution that helps them to logically justify working with you. 

Step 4: Close the Sale 

This is what you came here for, right? Closing the sale is the result of creating the right messaging. Like Alec Baldwin says in his famous speech in Glengarry Glen Ross, it’s important to ‘always be closing’ but in order to do that, you have to use the messaging in your arsenal to your advantage. You have done the work of creating core messages, you have adapted them to be relatable to your prospects, and you have made those prospects trust your company can provide the best solutions for them. Now you have to use them to request a call-to-action and convert that lead to a sale. 

Actually, you are closing your sale the minute you first make contact and show value with your messaging. Your customer is evaluating you from the initial communications, whether consciously or not. Having the right messaging in place means getting the business in the door will be that much easier. 

This article was previously written by Chris Martin and appeared in TEQ Magazine.