Social Media Doesn’t Sell Tickets

Social media is an important, even essential, part of marketing today for most companies and organizations. But it’s not enough. It can’t be successful in isolation. And yet I seem to be coming across more and more companies who think somehow their marketing begins – and ends – with tweets and posts.

All Twitter all the time

I was recently asked to give a capabilities presentation to the marketing team at a formerly high-flying company struggling to remain relevant. 

They are reasonably happy with the recent social media efforts of a “digital marketing agency” working on their behalf, but simply wanted to see “what else was out there.”

Never mind that the digital marketing agency has tweeted fewer than 100 times on their own account, and have slightly more than 100 followers. We’ll leave the topic of social media masqueraders for another post.

Anyway, back to the potential client. I could see they were tweeting once or twice a day and posting on Facebook once a day, but I didn’t know what else they were/are doing. The answer, as I found out, is nothing.

When I opined that it wasn’t enough, they didn’t seem happy.

And when I said what they really need is a holistic, integrated content marketing strategy with content creation, curation, aggregation, optimization, and analysis presiding over blogs, white papers, videos, byline feature articles, editorial calendars and all the rest, they seemed overwhelmed.   

More followers is not the goal

Even though social media isn’t all you should be doing, this meeting got me thinking that many companies could still be doing more to even maximize their social media influence. So let’s drill down for a moment.

There must be a reason for a brand to be on social media. Do you know yours? Do you know who your customers and target buyers are, their habits, how and where they spend their time, what questions they have and the kind of information they are looking for online during various stages of the buying cycle?

Do you have landing pages and other destinations you can drive social media traffic to? Because getting more followers is not the goal. Generating more brand awareness, leads, sales, and an engaged and loyal customer base is.

How much do you measure? Each time you publish something do you analyze the social shares, the page views, the time on the page, the bounce rate, the leads generated, the leads touched and the revenue influenced? There are plenty of affordable, easy-to-use tools to help you do this.

Are you having conversations with your customers and community, or have you co-opted social media as just another channel to push your sales and marketing messages at people? The real beauty of social media is it gives us the ability to listen, as well as talk, but most don’t take advantage of this.

And finally, are you even producing stuff people care about? Your customers should be the heroes of your stories, not your company. Yet about 80% of the marketing messaging we produce is about us, not them.   

According to Curata, 87% of marketers say content marketing is their top inbound marketing strategy, and 76% of American companies will increase their investment this year in content marketing. Just not the company I talked to. 

Tweet it and they will come

I wish social mediawas enough.It would be awesome if a pithy or poignant insight on Twitter made my phone ring. It doesn’t. It’s important for me to be there though, and show clients and prospects I can build community around my brand, and that I can do it for their company as well.

I still have to do a whole bunch of other things like networking, and picking up the phone, and blogging, and even direct mailing.  

Social media can be a highly effective sales and marketing tool, acting as a great place for people to learn more about your brand. Just not by itself. 

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