Many business owners are finally beginning to "open up" to the idea of Social Media as a marketing tool. However, many still have a limited understanding of the strategies required to be effective with it. It seems that some view it as simply a playground for useless conversation that never leads to any solid conversions. At the same time, others seem to view it as simply another channel for them to post their products and services, hoping someone will come across it.
The truth is, to be effective in the use of Social Media for marketing purposes, you need to recognize the importance of both types of content and implement a strategic balance of both.
- The primary objective for Social Media Marketing is to maintain a social connection with 2 groups of people: Those who KNOW you, and those who know OF you.
- The primary objective for Social Media Advertising is to find NEW customers and build new relationships with those who fit your target customer profile.
Social Marketing - Conversations lead to Conversions
Marketing, as we've mentioned in previous articles, is all about recognition. The goal of marketing is to remain at "top of mind" for your prospective clients and customers. This is best achieved in the Social Media world through having conversations with people; engaging them where THEY are. There's no such thing as "off topic" when you're at a social gathering in real life. Discussions change and shift based on what is keeping everyone's interest. There may be a string of jokes keeping everyone laughing, there may be someone sharing an inspiring true story, or even someone else that shares some useful new information they just came across.
The point is, with Social Marketing, STAY SOCIAL. It's useful and needed. And, the more engaging you are as a conversationalist, the more people will be interested in doing business with you; the more "top of mind" real estate you'll maintain with your sphere of influence.
Social Media Advertising - More Bang for the Buck
Utilizing social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram for advertising purposes is both efficient and economical. Facebook offers free tools for creating very specific audiences for your paid advertisements, allowing you to be much more focused in who sees your ads. Also, the minimum budget for running a paid ad is very low, often starting at only $5. So, not only can you be more focused with your paid audience, but you can also test your ads for effectiveness before putting hundreds of dollars behind them. And since Facebook owns Instagram, you can now use the Facebook ad engine to run ads on Instagram.
And there's a huge bonus to running ads through social media. If you're ad is creative enough or social enough in nature, you can benefit from an extended "organic" reach from it. Anytime someone "likes, comments, or shares" your ad, you get free exposure to that person's sphere of influence. That just simply doesn't happen with magazine, radio, or t.v. ads. I've never had someone bring a magazine to my house and say, "Dude you have to see this ad." But, it happens every day on Facebook.
By effectively utilizing both marketing and advertising strategies through social media, you'll see your brand recognition grow significantly over time and will see a much higher return-on-investment with your advertising dollars.
Measure your marketing success by "conversations" (Reach and Engagement) and your advertising by "conversions" (ROI) in order to stay on track and continually sharpen your focus!