Can you Succeed through Social Media if you weren’t going to anyway? #25

By Barry Murphy.

The way some people carry on nowadays, you’d nearly believe that social media is the one and only show in town; the panacea for all business woes. Of course, this simply is not true. While it may be the sexiest side of digital marketing, which in turn is today’s seductive stream of marketing, it should by no means be the only essential element of a business’s marketing strategy.

Let’s look at The Marketing Process – the four essential steps through which one should systematically work, in order to give focus to a Marketing Plan. Only after having carried out the fundamentals of Situation Analysis (where you are at right now), Marketing Research (what you need to find out) and Target Marketing, should you move on to the Marketing Mix.

Within step four, the Marketing Mix, you make informed decisions regarding product, price, place (distribution), processes, physical evidence, people and promotion. Each of these seven (sometimes simplified to four) elements demands attention. Decisions made should be based upon the solid foundational work that has gone before.

Have you built a great product, but got the pricing wrong? Oops. Have you designed a beautiful service, but went with the wrong distributor? D’oh! Have you inviting premises, but poor staff? Crap. But wait, doesn’t this suggest that social media is just one part of promotion, which in turn is just one part of the whole Marketing Mix? Precisely.

While social media is, in one guise or another, now an essential part of one’s Marketing Mix, it is by no means the only one. Indeed, depending on the business, it might not even be a particularly important part. Show me an industrial hydraulic cylinder manufacturer that needs to be on Facebook or Twitter.

I meet lots of micro- and small enterprises. I’d suggest that nobody succeeds through social media if they weren’t going to anyway. Why? Because those who are going to succeed grasp the entire Marketing Process. They understand the spider’s web that is promotion. One line of thread simply isn’t going to cut it on today’s marketplace. Several strands must be woven together to build a coordinated promotional campaign. They understand too that the old-fashioned custom of shaking hands with prospects over a coffee is every bit as important as the trendy tagged tweet or funky Facebook photo. They have the killer product; the super service. They have the USP that outdoes others. They’re keenly priced. They have the optimised website, the sound sales technique, the nice networking manner, the quality videos, the great sales letter. Heck, they may even have the much-maligned ad in the paper or on radio.

I find that the business that doesn’t really get marketing also doesn’t get social media. Rarely posting; posting poorly; scatter-gun approach; no approach. No questioning, no conversation, no interaction, no fun. Quite simply, building an ‘All-Star’ profile on Linked In and pinning a few pics on Pinterest isn’t going to drive any business to the next level. All too often, the businessperson who doesn’t get business doesn’t get social media. Full stop.

In conclusion, social media is indeed a wonderful addition to the traditional marketing tools at one’s disposal. Like the old adage that nuclear bombs can destroy the planet if used correctly, social media platforms afford the business the opportunity to build a truly quality audience that can lead to sales conversions or quality PR. The ceding of control to third-parties that is part and parcel of social media is a major step forward in marketing. But it will not make your business what it isn’t. Get all your ducks in line, not just the one with the smiley face or trendy address.

CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie