Ask anyone and the answer will always be the same. Ask a traditional marketing person that what are the channels that you should be employing as part of your promotional push and their answer, rehearsed over a thousand times, will include words like print, TV, radio, direct mail, commercials, and PR.
But then again, these folks must have heard of social media and the awesome power it has over influencing decisions of people to make a direct purchase. Social media is the new frontier to do direct-to-consumer conversions. People are glued to their computers, tablets and smartphones these days and that makes social media marketing the perfect foil that replaces traditional marketing methods.
As someone who practices their craft on social media, here are some preconceptions that people need to challenge regarding social media marketing.
1. The Internet. It really has changed the whole marketing landscape.
If you are not leveraging the power of the internet, you are doing it wrong. If your customer base seems low, and you want to change it for the better, an online presence is necessary, crucial even to your business bottom line. The internet has brought with itself a paradigm shift and no one is immune to its effects. Not you, not your customers and certainly not your business. Get on the online bandwagon people. It waits for no one.
2. Do people even buy magazines off newsstands or watch TV anymore?
Yes and no. The definite answer to this is mixed at best.
For brand managers and other marketing folks, it is crucial to know if people are tuning in to that sports event of the century. Or are they watching the news on TV or Twitter? Are people spending more time consuming content online rather than those of the printing press variety.
Commercials are still relevant. Look at the Superbowl results. They speak for themselves with their million+ viewership. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg if you consider how viral the ads aired during the Super bowl go once unleashed on social media.
The truth is, for now traditional media co-exists side by side with social media, so social media managers should do well to keep their brand promotion options open.
3. Social media conversations are the new case studies.
Once upon a time, a brand used to come out with case studies, detailing how their products/services have a phenomenal effect on someone‚Äôs life.
They were, for lack of a better term, one-sided. It was not rocket science to deduce that white papers were dripping with corporatism at best. How were customers to know how credible and trust worthy these stories were?
Enter social media, and the need to join the conversation of the day. Brands could now directly interact with customers, taking care of their needs, requirements and produce a master class display in maintaining good PR. After all, with all eyes on you and how you deal with consumers, which tend to have a magnanimous effect on public perceptions.