Anti-Social: Why Social Media Isn’t the Answer to Your Marketing Woes
Social media might seem like a magic fix to many common marketing problems, but it isn’t always the best tool for the job. Many businesses approach a marketing agency for help when they have a particular problem. For example, a business is having trouble bringing in new customers or can’t seem to get the word out about a new product or service offering. The agency then conducts an audit of its marketing efforts to develop a potential solution to this problem. There is no “one size fits all” approach to marketing. Each business faces different challenges that require unique solutions. Then, a comprehensive strategy is developed using a specific set of marketing tools to address the business’s problem. This might include social media, email marketing, SEO, or paid advertising, to name a few.
While oftentimes, social media is included in marketing strategies, there are some instances where it is left out. Here are a few common examples of problems businesses face and why social media might not be the best solution to solving them.
I’m opening up a new business in town. How can I get my name out there?
Marketing is just as critical for new businesses as it is for existing ones. When a new business enters the market, generating brand awareness is critical within the first few months of business. While building a strong social media presence is important – growing an audience takes time. It might take months before your social media will bring you business, so relying on that tool alone to bring you business isn’t always the best approach.
In this case, I would suggest running a paid advertising campaign as a part of a brand awareness strategy to get your business name in front of a new audience. Think of paid digital ads being like your very own virtual billboard. This approach will guarantee that your page is served to your target audience utilizing your advertising budget. This can be used to funnel traffic to your social profiles when advertising on Facebook to build an audience for a future social media strategy or to lead traffic to your website depending on the desired result.
I want to keep my business on frame of mind and offer frequent updates on my service offerings and new products or sales.
While social media may work for this problem in some instances, it is not the primary purpose of the platform. The main purpose of social media is right there in the name – to be social! Using the 80/20 rule of social media, 80% of the content you publish should be used to educate, entertain or offer some sort of value to your audience, and only 20% of your social media content should be used exclusively for business promotions. Being too “sales-y” will turn off your audience and hinder the growth of your profiles.
So how do you get the word out on new products or sales your business is running on a frequent basis? The answer lies right in your inbox, using email marketing. Compared to social media, email marketing is one of the most engaging and effective forms of digital marketing. The first step I would recommend is to create a quality email list. This can be done effectively by offering a pop-up on your website to capture emails offering a coupon for signing up for the email list, running a social media promotion utilizing emails, or capturing emails during checkout for an online purpose. A monthly newsletter is a fantastic way to keep your most enthusiastic customers up-to-date on sales and promotions and is very easy to track ROI.
I want a place online where customers can learn about all of the products and services I offer.
While social media is a great tool to showcase your products and services, it should be more than simply a catalog of your offerings. While every business needs a strong social presence, this starts with having a strong web presence. Beginning with having a quality website optimized for load times, usability, and SEO that will serve as the ‘hub’ for all of the information about your business that you want your customers to know.
Some of the key information that I would recommend you include on your business’s website are your services/products, pricing, contact information, and any frequently asked questions relative to your industry. With an intuitive layout and wealth of information on your site, you can avoid clogging up your social feeds with content your audience should already know.
While social media can be a great tool in your marketing efforts, it isn’t the end-all-be-all for many common problems businesses face. Still unsure of where to get started with marketing your business? Let’s talk!