There’s no denying the importance of social media marketing today. Every business, big and small, is scrambling to find ways to improve their social media presence and optimize their efforts.
But one thing to keep in mind is that relying on social media alone won’t get the job done. It might be tempting to think that Twitter and Facebook posts are the magic bullet to increasing brand awareness, but the truth is there’s no “free lunch” in marketing.
Instead, businesses need to take an integrated approach, combining the use of social with other channels that their customers are on. For this reason, you should know why social media shouldn’t be your primary marketing strategy, and how to formulate an integrated strategy.
Why Social Shouldn’t Be Your Primary Strategy
There’s no doubt that social media serves a particular purpose for most businesses. Primarily, it serves to create engagement with your audience and develop brand awareness by sharing updates, promotions, and unique content with your audience. But by focusing only on social, you’re missing out on the benefits provided by taking an integrated approach:
- United Messaging - Social media marketing doesn’t exist in a bubble, it relies on content and messaging from other advertising channels. By integrating social with digital, radio, television and anything else you use, it will create a single unified brand message regardless of where your customers meet you.
- Event Promotion - Although social is a great way to engage with your customers, there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact. Most businesses engage in some kind of event marketing, whether it be trade shows, live promotions, or otherwise. Social can then be used to drive people to these events and put a face to the company.
- Radio Presence - Radio campaigns are a great way to boost your social media presence, and vice versa. By mentioning your social accounts or unique hashtags on radio ads, you can drive traffic to your social accounts and website.
Also be aware that your audience may not actually be active on social media — a key reason why you cannot solely rely on social to get found. At the very least you should be utilizing one other form of media, like radio, to reach those customers and get them to hop onto your website. Get those individuals interested in learning more, and there’s a good chance they’ll be willing to engage with your brand digitally as well.
Unlike your website, you can’t control the search optimization of social channels. By including your website in an integrated marketing strategy, you’ll have the freedom to optimize your site rank for specific search terms to reflect what your audience is looking for. Social media platforms like Facebook, for example, all have their unique limitations.
Social media also has limitations in regards to branding. You just don’t have the freedom to brand your business on social media that you would on other forms of media. At the end of the day, your Twitter page will have the same interface as every other Twitter page, and the same goes for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest. You need to rely on your digital channels outside of social for the opportunity to brand your business the way that you choose.
The Value of Using More Than Social
No matter what other form of advertising you use to complement social media, there’s a ton of value in stepping outside of the social box and taking an integrated approach. Primarily, you’ll be able to really augment the reach of your marketing message. Utilizing an integrated strategy will ultimately allow you to distribute your message across a variety of channels, reaching people on social, traditional, and digital methods. It’s not necessary that you use print, TV and radio altogether, for example, but picking one an integrating it effectively is the key.
You’ll also be able to reach different audiences with an integrated approach. Just do the math, if your only strategy is social, then you’ll only be reaching people that are on those platforms. Using different marketing methods allows you to increase your exposure to people who prefer those other channels. Integration also results in greater brand awareness and recognition, created by additional consistency and frequency. By spreading your message across multiple channels, you create multiple touch points for your audience who are at different stages in the sales funnel. Someone hearing your ad on the radio then going onto your Facebook page, for example, will create a longer-lasting impression of your brand.
While using social media for your small business is surely a must in today’s world, it’s crucial to take an integrated approach to maximize the reach of your marketing efforts. For more information on how to create an integrated marketing strategy for your business be sure to subscribe to the Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group blog today!