Integrated Marketing: 4 Reasons Social Media is Needed
Creating a successful integrated marketing strategy is a necessity in our multichannel marketplace. Silo management of marketing channels wastes resources and reduces results. The days are gone where dominating one or two channels was enough to grab market share. Capturing people’s attention requires multi-faceted campaigns that reach them wherever they happen to land.
Understanding your company’s customer and prospect expectations is a necessity when choosing channels and platforms. What works for your competitors may fail your business. You have to know what your target market expects from your organization.
If you haven’t seen much success from your social media participation, it could be that your expectations and activity are misguided. The rules of engagement defined by early adopters rarely deliver measureable results beyond fan and follower acquisition. There are four areas where social media works. In addition to providing opportunities, they provide the reasons companies need to participate.
- Customer Retention
The benefits of keeping customers are well known. Social media helps make it happen by offering the opportunity to create one-to-one relationships. Showing people that you value them helps keep them loyal.
- Customer Acquisition
A community filled with happy customers attracts prospects. As noted in Social Casual vs. Direct Qualified Prospecting, social media doesn’t work very well as a stand-alone prospecting tool. But when you use it for customer retention and service, acquisition is a secondary benefit.
- Customer Service
Providing quality service requires companies to answer questions before they are asked. When this is done well, service calls are reduced and marketing is easier. Use social media to share “how to”, “what happens when”, and troubleshooting information.
Using good keywords and links in social media posts improves search results. Social search often receives higher page rankings than traditional sources. When posting updates use keywords and links so that people find your business even when they don’t participate in social media.
Direct sales is missing from this list because revenue generated from social media is a secondary benefit for most companies. There are rare occasions where corporate income is directly attributable to social activity but this is an exception. If it happens, celebrate. Don’t expect it to be sustainable. Use social media as a relationship building tool so you can reduce service costs and improve loyalty. Sales and profitability will follow.
Social Media Today