Many of the most successful marketing campaigns of the last couple of years have been entirely focused on social media. As the masses flock to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, some businesses are starting to put nearly all of their eggs in the social media basket. As dangerous as it may sound, this is actually a good idea for some businesses. The ROI for many verticals is much higher through social than any other form of marketing.
This post, recommended by @timfelsky as a subject that needs to be addressed, is one that must be handled cautiously. Right now, many businesses are starting to understand that social media is a venue through which to start the conversation and get people into “the funnel” who may never have been there otherwise. It’s a way to enhance the experience so that they have an opportunity to stay all the way through the process.
Social media marketing campaigns must stay focused, and therein lies the real dilemma. What about the people who are not currently and likely never will be on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+?
First, It’s Not an Age Thing
Let’s get that out of the way immediately. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that your older prospects aren’t on social media. That’s simply not true. The fastest growing demographic on social networking sites is 55-65 year-old women.
Generation Y is definitely a large part of social media and as they grow and emerge into the buying/decision-making world, they’re becoming a group that must be understood. The “executive bracket” that used to be 35-55 years-old is expanding in both directions – people are living longer and achieving success earlier.
In short, while you should be conscious of who your target market is, don’t think that just because you’re a Cadillac dealer or an estate planner that social media isn’t reaching your people. It is. They’re there. They’re getting your message IF you’re doing it right and putting it in the proper places.
It’s a Trust Thing
I wish I had the study that showed this (I hate referencing “facts” without backing them up with data), but I learned a few months ago that the biggest reason cited by people who are not using social media is a lack of trust. They don’t trust putting their data on there. They don’t trust the messages coming through social media. They don’t trust the companies that are using social media to gather data and broadcast messages.
They don’t trust us.
It makes sense. There are horror stories out there of scams and hacks that put people at risk through social media. They’ve abandoned the notion and will likely never reconsider. Are they lost to you forever if you base your marketing campaigns completely around social media? Only if you do it wrong.
Doing it Right
I wise “man” once said something that applies perfectly to social media marketing.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda
The easiest way to fail at social media is to “give it a shot.” It’s something that can be very rewarding, but it requires commitment, planning, and focus. Those who dip their toes in, dangle their legs in from the side, maybe even wade through the shallow end of the pool – they will fail. Those who dive in with a plan and proper form have the best chance of success.
If there’s a good chance that many good prospects in your target market are not using social media and will never be pulled into campaigns surrounding it, be sure to include another option. This isn’t for every business or situation, but it’s necessary for many. I give this tip cautiously because it should be a well-planned but non-time-consuming thought that goes into every campaign.
Stay true. Stay the course. Focus your social media marketing efforts around social media, but allow the ability for those who aren’t there to still be able to contact you (and to allow you to contact them).
Just don’t get caught in the inclusiveness trap. Going 99.5% social with your campaigns is your fastest road to success. The 0.5% – remember them but don’t let them steer your direction.