Is social media all i need in today’s marketing?

As social media continues to expand, the number of potential channels also continues to grow to leave customers questioning just what channels work best for them. Much like choosing network television before the addition of cable businesses are faced with needing more knowledge and expertise to successfully get a return on the social efforts.

In fact, some social media users have even abandoned their website for search through social. While this may make sense for a few, for most it does not. Today’s social media, while an important selection in your marketing mix is not a one-stop solution for all your marketing efforts. To put things in perspective, much like the internet and the push for websites to be responsive for smartphones, statistics still show that the majority of people still access the internet via their desktop.

What this means, at least for now, is that social media should be treated as a new part of your marketing mix and therefore treated as any other part of your marketing media. This means it should be considered an active part of your SEO efforts for your website. It also means that it fits into the rest of your marketing mix in your message and your offerings. Finally, it also means that it should be a part of your marketing plan and therefore planned out and tracked.

I am amazed that while many people I talk to insist on developing an ROI for all of their marketing efforts there has been little effort or accountability in regards to social media. The good thing is that, in most cases, social does provide analytics but someone still needs to pull the reports and track any success, whether that is considered increasing Likes or Followers.

For us here at The Marketing Company, increasing the number of Shares is what is most important when managing social media. After all, it is called Social Media Networking so the key word here is networking. That only happens successfully when people share it with their friends.

Finally, while social media tends to be viewed as a Free, no cost media offering effective results happen when there are time and effort invested. For instance, while many people to tend to post video or messages as a reaction, planned, well thought out messaging, whether video, picture or text best happens when it is well thought out and planned as part of the overall media mix. That’s why we focus on developing a quarterly calendar for our clients with messages, offers etc that can be approved in advance and then scheduled. Once that quarter is scheduled we begin working on the next quarter providing a consistency to our marketing messages that are coordinated and supporting all our other media efforts.

Want to get more out of your social media efforts? Take it more seriously, take time to plan and make sure it is in line and supports all of your other marketing messages in other media. Most importantly, make sure you begin to track your efforts to see that your time and effort is providing a return.