I feel great about what this year has in store and to start it off with a bang, I’m proud and excited to announce that I am now officially the Director of Marketing for Jacob Tyler Creative Group. As this evolution has taken place and continues to do so over the past few weeks, it got me thinking, yet again, about the trendiness of ‘social media’ and how people still really really don’t get it.
I certainly don’t mean to offend any of you naive twaters and bookfacers out there but just because you’ve heard of it, write on your friend’s wall and have a whopping 2 followers while your profile looks like an egg… doesn’t mean you know anything…and don’t be confused… you don’t.
The social revolution certainly is just that… a revolution but to think of it as a lonesome being orbiting the planet that is your brand foundation and marketing strategy is simply naive and I’ll say it, dumb.
A problem I’ve faced recently with a number of clients goes back to old school marketing when people couldn’t, didn’t, or didn’t care enough to track or measure. Certainly analytics with social are in their infancy – I can’t tell you how often people ask me what’s the ROI of social– but that’s not my point.
Insert analogy here: Think about the marketing outlets your brand uses as players on a team. By that I mean, think of email marketing as one player, print as another player, SEO as one, radio as another… you get the idea. All of these team members are, or should be, working together toward scoring. Your team is only as strong as your weakest player and if we apply that cliche to this situation, well, your marketing strategy sucks… or at least sucks more than it should.
Every facet of your strategy should support another. Your email marketing should include social and web calls to action while your print should do the same. Collect email addresses at events you attend and also from Facebook with custom facebook applications (auto responders are even an easy option these days). Post blog posts to your facebook and your twitter, which help with SEO, while you feature the great ones in an eblast. Don’t forget to add social links to your email signature and really think critically about the money you’re spending and where you’re spending it. If you’re spending $1000 a month on print ads in a magazine, think about your return. Are you seeing the value or might it be time to cut that cost down and try to invest it somewhere else? If you’re sure what you’re doing is working, party on, but be sure to include calls to action to call your store, visit your website or your facebook page etc. If you’re really fancy shmancy, try a QR code in a print ad and track the scans as an experiment. That way, you’re doing something new while sticking to what works. You may as well do as much as you can with the cards you’re dealt. Same goes with TV. Consciously watch commercials these days (if by some rare stroke you’re watching it live…). Nearly every national commercial includes a social call to action to at least a facebook url. Think about it as getting more bang for your buck.
Certainly a lot of these things are hard to track now but remember, your marketing outlets should be fueling one another to eventually accomplish your goals, whatever those may be. Certainly sales are the bottom line but consider measuring leads. How much is a qualified email address worth to you? How much is word of mouth marketing/brand perception worth? If you create enough of a buzz that people are ‘liking’, tweeting and engaging with you… those people will ultimately convert. Will they tomorrow? Maybe not. But they might very well talk about the contest you’re running (which got you their email address) or the excellent customer service they received when they posted on your wall…and those people will be around for the long haul.
Remember, social isn’t instantly gratifying so don’t expect it. It’s hard to put hard numbers to it’s conversion so I’m sorry about that. It doesn’t stand along in outer space so devote some time to learning about it and don’t expect gold if you put in rocks (not really sure if that analogy works…). Take off your blinders and realize that it should be a well integrated part of your marketing plan…the glue that fuels all other facets if you will. Take this information and give it a whirl. It’s a New Year after all.
Happy 2012 All! Cheers to wide eyes and savvy strategy.