Social media marketing: oxymoron?

socialmediamarketingoxymoronThere has been quite a discussion going on over at LinkedIn on my post about social media marketing.  While most marketers know that they have to have social media the issue seems to be how much to invest in social media in relation to the bottom line.  It’s especially hard to justify a full-time position to be a social media community manager since the line back to ROI is jagged at best.

Let’s get back to marketing basics of understanding our customers

(1) Consumers just don’t have time to engage brands on social media – OK, there are some brands that are worth following like Starbucks, but for the most part, Facebook is right that only 1% of people are actually seeing your organic posts.  If you want to announce a new product or promotion the best way might be to use Facebook’s targeting tool to advertise to them.  However the question then becomes where do you send them?  My advice has always been to send them to your branded website.

time pressed consumers

(2) The social media manager is a full-time job in house, not via an agency – If you believe that Facebook and Twitter are a key part of your brand strategy than get a dedicated person who can listen and talk to people as individuals.  Stop trying to quantify their value just understand that talking to prospects/customers is an important brand touch point.

(3) Despite all the free research available you should always be doing more to better understand your customers – You should be able the following questions; what is the moment of truth when a consumer becomes a customer and where does it happen?,  do our customers really want a social media relationship with us?, Do our customers expect us to be on social media and do we have the resources to answer their questions in real time?

Qualitative-circle-diagram

(4) What is our brand promise ?  Is it the consistent quality of your product or a customer service line?  Tide, for example, has 800 and web help to answer questions about how to get clothes cleaner and remove “hard to get out” stains.

While some say mass marketing is dead I have to disagree somewhat.  It really depends on what you’re selling.  A new heat and eat pasta dinner could appeal to a broad range of consumers while a new Subaru model may appeal to a narrow segment of Millennial’s. Even social media ads can be effective if targeted the right way. I am a big bike rider and have been seeing a lot of ads for new bike gear as Spring approaches and I have been checking them out.

healthyshopping--food--bevcampaign

In the end a better understanding of what our customers expect from us will go a long way in determining if social media marketing is really going to drive conversion.