Social Marketing – What’s the Point?

burmeister_content_Small-215x215Many marketing directors find it difficult to put in the necessary time to actually fulfill their social marketing goals.  But that leads me to the point of this post.  Do your social marketing activities have specific goals?

At our advertising agency, we’ve met many clients who believe they should be doing social marketing, but don’t know what to do.  The first thing to ask yourself is what you are trying to accomplish.  Social marketing is like all other marketing tools.  Not every tool is right for every task.  And if you’re counting on social marketing to generate business and reduce your media expenditures, it might work for you or you might be greatly disappointed.

 

In our case, I wanted this blog to help with our SEO, and let folks know a little bit more about how we think.  If you’re entering the social marketing arena, you need to be just as clear about your goals.  That way, you won’t waste time (and lots of it) on marketing that doesn’t generate results.  And you’ll know how to measure the results you do receive.

After all, Facebook is a wonderful tool for restaurants and retailers to offer happy hour specials and Saturday-only coupons.  Consumers “like” them because they receive specials to their favorite places.  And the retailers can get the word out without the expense of a newspaper ad.

But if you’re a bank or an insurance company, for instance, what can you offer that will make people want to “like” you?  What financial or emotional benefit can you provide on an ongoing basis?  It becomes much more difficult.  Many of you have created a Facebook page, asked your employees to invite their friends, and in the end, you have perhaps 400 people on your Facebook page.  A year later, you’ve spent an enormous amount of time posting, and you don’t know if you’ve even generated one new account.  Sound familiar?

The problem is that you jumped in without a goal.  You wouldn’t run a newspaper ad without knowing what you wanted it to achieve.  You should look at your social marketing plans the same way.

When clients ask us to help with social marketing, we always start by defining the objective.  Facebook can’t fulfill all goals, the same way that a billboard can’t fulfill all of your goals.  If you begin with an objective for social marketing,  your ad agency can help you determine whether it’s achievable.  If it is, then the next step is to determine what the most creative solution might be.  Our job has always been to outline our client’s goals, and help them generate the greatest results for their dollars and efforts.  If you simply look at social marketing as another tool in the toolbox, with its own strengths and weaknesses, you can use it wisely.  And in the end, add it to your list of success stories.