I have had several customers and colleagues focus on Social Media Marketing. With few exceptions, these efforts have not worked. So, I want to take a few posts to look at what is going on. In some circles, Email Marketing is considered part of Social Media Marketing. I am going to ignore Email Marketing for this series. Email has its own pros and cons.
Most companies get involved in Social Media Marketing because they think it is necessary and inexpensive. What we really have is a fragmented set of services that are read by different audiences for different purposes. This method of Marketing is so poorly understood that it makes it very difficult to have an effective conversation about it. I want to start with classifying Marketing activities into some broad categories and talk about Social Media for them. I want to remind everyone that these channels are now heavily utilized and crowded with advertisers.
I will start this by examining Audience Creation. This is the use of Marketing techniques to let the market be aware of your existence. This is not normally done through Social Media, but I will give an example where this worked. The example is Dollar Shave Club. At this point, you may be aware of this Brand through its TV advertising. Dollar Shave Club started by advertising (aka sponsoring) some well know YouTube Channels. This was very inexpensive for the market reach at the time. The bulk of this channel came from a younger demographic and the Dollar Shave Club message of insurgency resonated very well with this audience.
On the other hand, Facebook does not even let every one of your followers know about a new post unless you “boost” a post. This means that audience reach on Facebook can be very limited unless you are willing to expend a significant amount of money. For that, you get your post placed into news feeds. This is like many other channels like LinkedIn or YouTube. Essentially, this is a shotgun into a demographic. It is not clear that your ad will be viewed, just potentially viewed.
Reputation Management sites (Yelp!, Angie’s List, etc.) are not directly aimed at broad audience creation. If your services are searched for on one of these sites, high ratings can get you more jobs. But you won’t see your company name show up in front of people otherwise.
And that is one of the challenges here. Social Media is not really a broad-based tool for Audience Creation. As we go using Social Media, you will see an ongoing conversation about the more targeted approach that suits Social Media more. This means effective use of Social Media will be around communities of interest.
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