I read a recent article, 4 Marketing Tactics That Trump Social Media, that was pushing Social Media as the least favorite among Marketing channels. Below is the infographic from the article. While it definitely points out what was more favorable, I have to go back to an early thought I had, ‘You’re doing it wrong!’. The problem I have with an article and graphic like this is the person who is still skeptical of Social Media only looks at the graphic and no more. Then they think, ‘See, it’s just a fad. My tried and true methods still are better’ and never give it a chance.
Social media, social business or whatever you want to call it is not going to replace your traditional methods any time soon. I hear the naysayers chime in all the time talking about its silly and what if I’m not on that platform. My answer to them is that you are missing out by not taking advantage of it. Social should be an extension of what you are doing now. Whether it’s the Product Manager looking for competitive information or the Marketing specialist trying to extend their reach, social is a vital part of how you should be working.
Looking at this infograph, I see several flaws and I’m going to prove how Social is an extension, not a silo in your marketing plan. They are currently ranked in 5 categories in the following order:
- Word of mouth and customer referrals
- Networking with other businesses
- Advertising – print, broadcast, radio, etc.
- Direct mail or email
- Social Media
So let’s break those down and show the talk about each one.
Word of mouth and customer referrals – In the digital age that we live and work in, nothing is more important amongst the social world as a Share or Like. When I see someone take a moment to ‘like’ your product or article, it tells me they approve of it. If they take the time to ‘share’ it with their friends, they want me to know about it. It’s the digital version of what you’re calling a separate channel from Social.
Networking with other businesses – I LOVE this one. Social is all about networking. It’s making connections to people all over the world not just in your local community or business group. Instead of showing up at the golf course or your local chapter of industry experts, you are connecting to a wide audience of people who you otherwise would not have had contact with. Once again, Social is the digital version of this.
Advertising – print, broadcast, radio, etc. – This one I find to be interesting as well. How many print ads or TV spots do you see these days that don’t have some form of a social address on it? Very few, if any. Even your radio advertisements end with follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook with a link to get there. This channel is not going away, but you should give them a way to find you on your social outlets.
Direct mail or email – Despite all the rumors, email isn’t going away any time soon nor is the us mail services. But again, I challenge you to find a postcard from an advertisement that you get in the mail or an email from a business that doesn’t have some reference to their social media channels on it.
There you have it. 4 methods of marketing all connected with social as an extension of what you are already doing not as a separate silo. So quit fighting social and start doing it. You won’t be sorry.