Is Social Media the only Marketing I need?

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.