Why Social Media is Not Marketing Magic

Oct 22, 2012 | Facebook, Marketing, Social Media

Traditional marketing offers a high barrier of entry because it is often includes high cost. We tend to see elite or exclusive brands using this type of marketing heavily. This has caused many smaller companies to try and use social media as their main or only form of marketing.

As a social media specialist here at 212 Media Studios, I have seen the value of social media marketing many times. I think it is a valuable part of a marketing mix, and with the younger generation relying on social media for information about brands, it will become more valuable.

However, it is not the be-all, end-all for marketing. I recently read an article onForbes.comthat was titled "Why Traditional Marketing Trumps Social Media, And What To Do About It." This article challenged me to consider where I thought social media fit into the marketing mix. The standard mix is comprised of the 4 "P's": Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Social Media can fit into two areas according to two theories.

Some say that social media fits into the promotion area. It is a form of marketing and PR that is all about promoting brand and products. Social media is a great place to tell your story, share your brand, and even promote your new products. In this way, it definitely fits into the promotion space. The Forbes article I read recommended using a personalized social media advertising strategy. "Instead of saying, 'Our cupcakes are on sale for 20 weeks with a percentage of the sale going to Breast Cancer Awareness' — which is how you might alert a journalist — speak directly to the consumer with something more friendly: 'Buy cupcakes for the kids. We are giving a percentage of the sale back to a charitable cause.' It’s important to tailor each message effectively."

However, I think it also fits into another section- a fifth "P" – People.To have a successful marketing campaign, it takes people. Good people on the inside, doing the marketing, and people connected to brands on social media channels. Social media really fits into the fifth "P" because it takes talented people to offer a good social media presence, and social media is just that – social. People get the chance to communicate with brands on social media in ways that other marketing channels cannot offer. This can lead to collaboration to improve your product or service. Using social media this way allows your customers to feel like they have a hand in molding what you offer.

Try and consider where you think social media fits into your company's marketing mix and then use it accordingly. If it fits into a PR and promotion section, be personable and share ideas in a personal voice, but still clearly with marketing style. This allows you to continue to control the conversation. If your strategy is to fit social media into the people area, you can open up conversation and let your customers run wild and share ideas. You can offer direction and then let your followers guide you to exactly what they want!

No matter what strategy you choose to take, remember that social media should complement your marketing strategy. It is nearly impossible to derive business solely from social media marketing, but it has proven successful to use social media as a piece of your marketing mix. Determining a strategy and executing that strategy is crucial, and the hard work required for it is not magic.

What is your strategy for social media? Do you think it fits into "Promotion" or "People"? Please share your thoughts on social media use below!

By: Dustin Hickle
Media Specialist

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