By Robyn Sachs, an EO D.C. member and President of RMR & Assoc.
RMR firmly believes that an integrated approach is the most effective way to market our clients’ products and services. You reach different members of your target audience by advertising in trade journals than you do by contacting potential customers through email lists. Of course there will be some overlap, and that’s good. The more times people hear your message, the more likely they are to remember it.
Now you see it, now you don’t
Social media is an interactive medium. That’s the good news. It pops up as news and gets people to react to it. Maybe they’ll pass it on to others and generate some interest. But then it’s gone.
Compare that to an article that’s written about your company and placed in a trade journal that has longevity. Or compare it to a PR event that’s talked about for months in advance through press releases and ads, makes a big splash the day of the event and is then written about the day after.
Why don’t more people “like” me?
For businesses to maximize their use of social media, they have to get a lot of people to follow their posts and tweets. You want to attract the attention of the people who would be interested in your products and services.
Typically, businesses that market to consumers are much more successful at gaining followers than businesses that market to other businesses. Consumers have become accustomed to turning to Facebook and Twitter for their personal use, but for their business decisions, not so much.
Social media can be very valuable when used correctly. The key is to know how to leverage it and to understand what you can reasonably expect social media to do for you. But realistically, no other media works as well alone as it does when it’s part of an integrated strategy either. We would never recommend that you only use advertising as your media of choice, or that you only hold press events, or expect the articles you authorize to be written about your company to serve as your “sole marketing vehicle.”
Social media works best when it’s used to “amplify” your combined marketing efforts. We advise our clients to utilize social media in a variety of specific ways, including:
• Create a blog, make it the hub of your social media activity, and update it often;
• Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to drive people to your blog, website and other activities;
• Get your clients, partners and customers to post on your blog as experts;
• Post often, and encourage your managers and reps to post and tweet to their connections;
• Create deals that customers can only get by checking in via Foursquare;
• Connect with your Social Media Influencers–the key experts in your industry who can mention you in their posts and tweets;
In the right hands, social media can be a valuable part of your marketing mix and a proven way to amplify all your other marketing efforts.