Social Media – It’s Just One Tool In Your Marketing Toolbox

January 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Social Media | Leave a comment
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I keep hearing about how great Social Media is and how it is the fastest growing advertising tool. Ya, I think that is probably true. In my experience the use to these tools is growing among business users and consumers. They are fun tools to use, not very expensive and they can be really effective. But what are the real numbers?  I did a non-scientific quickie search of Google to see what stats are out there. Here is a bunch of fun facts I found on the web:

  • 70% of respondents indicated that a company’s social media influences their purchase decisions;
  • 30% of respondents indicated they regularly pay a higher price for products active on social media over competitors who are not;
  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook;
  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web;
  • The number-one advantage of Social Media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%);
  • Social Media outsourcing underemployed: Only 14% of businesses are outsourcing any aspect of their social media marketing;
  • Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours;
  • What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…

So what does this mean to your business? It means: “Ahhhh!!! HURRY!!!! Get on Facebook!!” Ok, no it doesn’t. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, You Tube etc are really cool marketing tools. Billboards are also really cool marketing tools. Some have lights and moving parts that are super cool. Just because something is cool and has lights does not mean that you should be spending your advertising dollars on it. If you think it does then I have a flashlight to sell you.

Social Media sites are great ways to find your consumer and target your ads to them. If I sell ladies shoes to 18 – 30 year old trend setters, I can advertise to those women specifically within 20 km of my store. I will only pay for the ads that these women click on. I can also create a Facebook page and try to reach them without spending money – only time. There are some really effective ways of reaching this specific target market using Social Media. And it does not need to be expensive.

But what if I sell widgets? And my widgets are only used by select gadget manufacturers. Should I take out a bunch of Facebook ads? No. If the consumer of your product is not on Facebook or Twitter then you don’t need to be there. Like any other marketing tool you want to think about where your customer is and then advertise to them on that platform.

But, what if I sell a specific kind of green widget that is only used by certain gadget makers. My problem is that many gadget makers use only blue widgets. I’d really like the gadget makers to realize that they can sell more of their gadgets if they contained my special green widget. In this case I might be able to utilize some Social Media tools to target the consumers who purchase gadgets. I want to get them to request green ones! Now I am not using Social Media to advertise a product I am using it to build my brand and change a mindset of the consumer.

As with any form of marketing your best bet is to figure out who your customer is, think about what you hope to achieve and research the best tools to reach that consumer and meet your goals. Social Media tools might help but they are only one set of tools in your marketing toolbox.

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