Social Media Marketing: Luxury or Investment?
Written by: Natalie Allport
Busting the Myth
We’re often faced with the situation of clients who are hesitant to make the financial investment towards social media marketing. It’s a common mis-thinking among small and medium business owners that social media is a luxury, when in fact, it’s a necessary investment. Whether you’re starting up, are highly successful, or struggling to make ends meet, social media can provide you with unmatched ROI. Not only that, but social media is a NECESSITY for achieving credibility, superior customer service, and remaining competitive. Just as you would budget for office or commercial space, social media should be worked into your base monthly expenses. We see many businesses from start-ups to established organizations focusing their budgets on marketing that produces little to no ROI. Simply because they’ve always done it that way, their competitors do it that way, or they simply are misinformed. It’s not whether your business can afford social media marketing, it’s whether it can afford not to.
Social Media vs Traditional Marketing
Is most traditional marketing outdated and expensive? Yes. Is there still room for traditional marketing in your marketing mix? Yes. However, which should you focus on first? Social media (digital marketing) or traditional marketing? Which is the more important investment? We’ll let the data do the talking.
In terms of cost per thousands metrics (CPM: how many $ you need to spend to reach 1000 people) there is no comparison to social media. In fact, social Media costs HALF as much as the next most effective traditional marketing channel.
Credit: Lyfe Marketing
Additionally, there are hidden costs to traditional marketing, such as advertising costs increasing during peak times and large changes in pricing due to production expenses rising.
Social Times Blog has a great Infographic that shows more statistics and key differences. You can check it out here: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873
Ultimately some of the key differences can be outlined in the following chart:
Here’s a great infographic which compares content (digital) marketing with traditional marketing:
Credit: Marketo & Digitalist Magazine
Credit: Marketo & Digitalist Magazine
As times change, so does the way we do business. This is why social media is becoming THE main marketing channel for business of all types and sizes, including both B2B and B2C organizations.
Why do you need social media? Out of necessity, of course.
First, social media provides your business with increased credibility. With a majority of end users or consumers going to social media pages prior to even visiting websites (and needless to say, before visiting your physical location or calling/emailing), it is important to have a professional presence on social media. Having professionally managed, aesthetically pleasing, and popular social media accounts is comparable to having a dentistry certification on the wall of a dentist office. Better than a review, a professional and strong presence shows that you are a credible tried and true business.
Additionally, social media can and should be used as a base for any other marketing campaigns you may have (traditional or not). All marketing campaigns should send people somewhere, why not send them to social media where they can positively share their experiences or post about the campaign? Imagine asking people to post photos of themselves with your product but having nowhere for the campaign to link to. This is where you can add a #hashtag and ask users to @tag your account(s) where people can find more great content, information, and links.
From a consumer perspective, I personally would be hesitant to check out a business for the first time that does not have a strong social media presence. I almost never go to a business’ physical location without checking out their products, services, reviews, and content on social media prior. The truth is that we are in the digital age, where people like to know everything before they go anywhere or do anything. If the ice cream shop down the road has a stronger social media presence than yours, then chances are I am going to go there rather than yours, despite whether you have the best ice cream in the world or not.
Lastly, social media is a necessity for providing superior customer service. We receive several comments, messages, and reviews everyday on client accounts which we are responsible for monitoring, engaging with, and responding to. Engaging with customers in this way develops long-term customer retention. In the case of negative postings, through simply listening to a customer complaint the issue can be resolved. We recently had a scenario where a customer wrote that he received untimely and unprofessional service at the physical location and would NEVER return. We responded within minutes thanking him for sharing his experience so we (our client) can improve upon this and letting him know that this is not what we (again, our client) strive for in the way of customer service. The customer was quite surprised at receiving a response and noted that the response was worthy of a second chance! From never returning to a second chance within minutes!
It all comes down to this. Can social media provide a return on investment? Quite simply, yes it can. With millions of local and worldwide social media users, potential customers are out there. Using targeted advertisements and informative posts can help you reach and engage with these potential customers. We know how to take advantage of social media to generate leads, increase sales, find and engage customers, and drive traffic to your business.
Ready to Make the Investment?
Is your handshake strong or weak? As your online first impression, social media is integral to the success of your business. No matter your size, industry, or goals, we can help you achieve your social media and digital marketing goals in creative and cost effective ways.
I’ll leave you with this:
“You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket. Thinking of social media as a luxury that you can only afford ONCE you’ve reached your goals is like hoping to win the lottery without yet buying a ticket. You have to make the investment first.” -Daniel Sesiakin
Ready to dive in? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!