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Is Social Media in Itself a Marketing Strategy?
Q: Is social media on its own enough for a marketing strategy?
Social media is a vehicle that supports the digital aspect of your overall marketing strategy – but it is one piece to a much larger puzzle.
So often we hear marketers say that their marketing strategy is social media or relies upon social media.
We offer social media services through The Purpose Company and will be the first to tell you that social media isn’t enough on its own to form a full marketing strategy.
Your basic social media supports your brand authority, thought leadership, and is a place for interested prospects to find you — think of it as your online bricks and mortar.
If you had (or have) a physical location, you wouldn’t expect the bricks-and-mortar store itself to bring people in off the street. Sure, you might get people walking by and stopping in. You might create an eye-catching window display, put up signs for sales, and maybe even stand on the corner telling people where you are.
And it may be successful – but it shouldn’t be your only lead generation activity.
You can add lead generation components to your social media. But again, this is not the strategy.
A marketing strategy should look at acquisition and retention.
It should address all the ways that you can reach prospects – like email, Google and other search engines, web, traditional marketing like print, signage, radio and TV, and social media.
It should specify target market groups and how you will go after each.
A good marketing strategy also includes aspects like your sales funnels, your conversion paths, the value proposition, buyer personas, competitive analysis, split testing, and more.
That is just scratching the surface. The best marketing strategies are goal-driven. They might align with executive goals – like promoting a certain product or increasing net profits by a certain amount.
The Truth About Social Media Marketing as a Strategy
Social media on its own is not a marketing strategy – it’s one tool your marketing strategy might make use of.
Here’s the thing. With social media marketing, it is really easy to feel busy and do a lot without producing real, tangible results. You can put hours into planning content, analyzing likes, shares, and comments, looking at competitors’ feeds, reaching out to influencers, and never see a single sale come from it. Ideally, you will find your sales increase, but unless you have the right tools in place you might not be able to attribute it directly to social media.
Is social media still important and necessary? Absolutely.
You need to be visible and accessible to your clients and prospects – but in many cases, it is only the starting point. A prospect may not become a client because you have a fantastic social media feed. But they might become a fan and follow you and then over time, and over other marketing methods, convert to being a client.
However, social media on its own rarely creates a clear conversion path because there are so many variables. You can’t guarantee the same person or people will always see your posts. You are appealing to a wider audience rather than one buyer persona or buyers’ journey stage. And sometimes simple things like algorithms can stifle the amount of content you can put out in a certain timeframe.
For instance, with Facebook you can hurt your reach by putting out too many posts in one week. A good rule of thumb for most businesses is to post a maximum of five times per week – and even that may be too much.
Are you okay with five posts per week being your entire marketing strategy? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you look at it from that perspective.
We work with clients on social media every day. You can absolutely build a robust social media presence, but it takes time and it takes consistency. If you’re expecting social media to generate thousands of leads overnight (or even in a year) you may be asking too much.
At The Purpose Company, we’re experts in social media marketing, but we’re also experts in building a marketing strategy that drives real results.
Contact us today to create a plan that works for your business. Call 647-880-9709 or visit www.thepurposecompany.ca.