Many of us got our start in digital marketing when social media erupted back over a decade ago. (DANG!!! It has been a decade already?) Social media created a great niche from which many small businesses received a massive amount of value. But, it isn’t 2004 anymore and things have changed over the last 10 years.
So, that gets us to the offensive title of my article that may upset some of my fellow social practitioners.
Here it goes (ducking for cover): No longer does social media alone prove to be an effective marketing strategy. Instead, social media is a component of a much larger initiative needed for success.
Businesses’ social antics fall on deaf ears creating a bit of a white noise with customers. Facebook’s algorithmic changes combined with the digital overload brings a sole social media marketing strategy to a screeching halt with the social media strategist at the wheel. In today’s competitive business landscape it takes more than a barrage of tweets or a clever Facebook post to effectively market your company; success requires digital immersion.
Good social media actually demands a multi-faceted strategy.Your company needs a customized combination of content marketing, landing pages, newsletters and marketing automation to generate sales. These components work together to ensure that visitors become leads become customers. Customers become brand evangelists (or we like to call them “secret sales team”). No longer can social media offer everything you need to successfully sell in a digital world.
Think of marketing as a large puzzle and social media, a piece of the puzzle.
No doubt there is a requirement for social media if your company plans to grow it’s marketplace. Studies show that highly social customer’s buying behavior reflect less and less use of search engines to find needed products and services. Customers turn to social platforms to ask a friends and family for recommendations on product providers. Social media ranks as the second most common use for the internet; so we can safely assume that a fair portion of website visitors will arrive from one or more platforms.
Access to new customers doesn’t stop at social media; it is just one of many ways to reach your target market. If you neglect other avenues, you leave the majority of potential customers for competition to snatch up. Google ads and other traffic generating opportunities are vital and necessary to be and stay relevant.
Social Media cannot build true authority
Walk down memory lane with me. Remember when the world operated in a way that we could trust one another? Better times were had when a handshake could close a deal and people’s word was their bond. Ahhhh… good times…
GONE are the days of Andy Griffith and trusting in one another. Today is a different story. Everyone claims to be an authority, guru, or rockstar, but few invests the time to prove it (freebie here: the ones with real authority don’t claim to have “authority”). Consumers find themselves leery of anyone who claims to be an expert. Time and time again they have been taken by a hack and the “experts” are no longer passing the smell test with them. Social media has given many voices, without repercussions, the ability to be a poser. If you screwed up your social media footprint with your audience then all you have to do was work away at a new customer base in the socialverse. The death of authenticity has left customers desperate for “real people” behind product lines.
Want to build authority? Start branding yourself. Write about your craft. Develop case studies. Start a newsletter that gives insight into who you are, what you do and the industry you represent. Prove you know what you are talking about. As they say in the old southern churches (we do live in the south down here in GA): You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk!
Value is the end game. There is need for authority and it will result in building long term successful business relationships..
Social Media can’t close sales without volume
Social media selling works well in low volume, but when you are looking to grow a customer base exponentially, it just doesn’t cut it. Social media requires of one on one interaction which isn’t’ scalable for small businesses. Marketing strategy success requires a multiple platform approach in order to grow market share, sales and profits.
Tools such as marketing automation, email marketing and advertising are critical for small business growth that requiring a large numbers of leads to close sales. With limited budgets and scarce time, social media alone fails small business goals. An automated solution nurtures leads that convert into customers while meeting economies of scale. No one strategy or set of tools fits each and every business, but with the implementation of a complex strategy prospects will transition from social universe to sales.
The digital world opened an unfathomable number of doors for small business owners across the world. Social media, just one of the doors, will leave you stuck on an island without results if it remains the sole tool in your marketing strategy. The right execution of an integrated marketing plan results in marketplace relevance, authority, clients and brand evangelist.