We all know that social media is a vital part of every company’s marketing campaign. Without Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and any of the other social media platforms out there, companies will not be able to reach their target audience and interact with them.
There is no argument about the necessity of these outlets and the great benefits they can bring. However, social media is only a part of what a company’s marketing department does. While social media must be a part of any company’s marketing plan these days, a company will succeed only if it uses these outlets based on core marketing principles. There must be a strategy to utilize such powerful outlets, and there must be consistency in messaging.
Social media is not a replacement for who you are. It is also not to be used as a stand-alone tool. It is not a destination you go to and then rest there. And, sometimes we may think the opposite, but social media is not free.
Social media is only a tool to let you engage with your audience, who is allowing you the privilege to interact with them. It is about creating relationships, and as in any relationship, there must be trust. It is one part of your marketing outreach, combined with traditional marketing methods. And it takes time and money to continuously and effectively use social media to be successful in the social sphere.
Whatever service or product you provide in a B2C or B2B relationship, no amount of social media can replace the human interaction and good experience your audience should have. Also, marketers must also ensure there is consistency in their message and actions; any contradiction in messaging and action will dissuade current and potential customers. Even though social media was used to begin the relationship, you are in a live relationship, not a virtual one, and there must be trust.
Remember the 4 p’s of marketing – product, place, promotion, price. As well, begin with your clients’ needs and likes, their lifestyle. Then, you must demonstrate your value to them. From there, you can begin to build relationships with them.