by Jeanine Vecchiarelli return to JayVee Media Link LLC
These days a number of people inaccurately believe that social media marketing is an all or nothing deal; you either “market” or you “social media market.” In truth, the two are interrelated, and both are so necessary they cannot be mutually exclusive.
Social media marketing is actually a component of marketing. It occupies a very important spot in a merchant’s toolbox. As with its fellow tools, its ultimate aim is producing satisfied customers. What sets it apart from the others is its philosophy, which creates a different approach to that common end.
Traditional marketing involves channels that “push” our messages out to the masses. We pay for ads, promotional materials, public relations campaigns and other mechanisms to alert consumers to our products/services. These are important strategies for calling attention to our offerings. Generally, we expect and receive more immediate feedback from these traditional marketing approaches. We place our ads, and if they are effective, consumers respond.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, encompasses strategies that “pull” potential customers to us. We do advertise, but in the grand scheme of successful strategies this activity comprises not more than 20% of our postings. Social media is about sharing value. It encompasses freely sharing useful information; sincerely looking to help; allowing our prospects to get to know us as the people behind our brands; fostering and nurturing relationships with them. Social media marketing builds trust via ongoing engagement, crowd sourcing activities such as requesting input for certain marketing decisions, and quick servicing of needs. In this manner, potential clients who friend/follow/fan us become not only satisfied customers but enthusiastic advocates for our businesses. This method of marketing necessitates a considerable time commitment and does not deliver the instant results found in traditional promotional channels. The trade off, however, is exponentially beneficial: it creates stronger bonds of loyalty, meaning good repeat business, and more reliable referrals for our companies.
Merchants who wish to see the best results in their marketing efforts need to incorporate strategies on both the push and the pull sides of the advertising equation. Both can work together, as when we publish our online contact information and social site URLs on our print media, or when an online promotion points to a print media coupon. Any way we combine them, the benefits and the time frames in which these two strategies yield effective responses complement each other. The two pronged approach to marketing ensures steady visibility and growing consumer confidence in our businesses. That’s a winning combination all around!
How do you mix your push/pull strategies in your marketing? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!