Social Media Marketing: Enough is Enough

Social Media Marketing: Enough is Enough

38

Social Media Marketing

Social bookmarking. Social networking. Blogging. Microblogging. Are you using them all in your social media marketing efforts? What about online video, content aggregators, podcasts, social media news releases, forums, and photo sharing? Some people would have you believe that you should be engaged in all, or most, of these social media tools and tactics to promote your business. Those people are wrong.

Why it Doesn’t Pay to be an Early Adopter

It’s a common marketing misconception that businesses should take advantage of every tool available to them if using that tool could potentially attract new visitors, readers, or customers. While there’s nothing wrong with testing new tools, attempting to try everything may cost more than you’d think (in wasted time), especially if you insist on being one of the first.

When a new social media tool is released, early adopters rush in. From a marketing perspective, being an early adopter is not a smart business move for most businesses. Why? Unless large numbers of your particular target market are also early adopters already using the tool, you’re not going to reach your market by jumping on board. Your marketing message has to reach your actual market. If they’re not there yet, there are more productive ways to spend your (or your employees’) time.

The All-Important ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important business concepts out there. In essence, when you maximize your ROI you’re getting as much as you can out of as little as possible.

Social Media Bandwagon / Credit: Matt Hamm

Credit: Matt Hamm

Let’s say you have $5000 to invest in a social media marketing campaign for the next quarter. You naturally want to get the biggest return possible on that investment (let’s say your goal is to attract more visitors to your website).

You could invest a little bit of that budget into every social media tool you can think of. For example, you might produce a very low-budget video to release on YouTube, hire a part-time blogger to update your company blog and respond to comments, put out one or two social media news releases, hire a forum poster to visit communities to link to your website, and hire someone to help you setup social media and microblogging accounts (such as with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter).

When you try to do too much, your budget is stretched. That video may be much poorer quality than you would have liked. You may get a handful of blog posts for the month instead of a blogger who can post daily and build a real community around your blog. You may have social networking profiles and a Twitter account, but you may not have anyone to constantly update them.

It’s far better to strike a balance. Let’s say you still have a $5000 budget. In this case you choose a more limited campaign plan–a blogger to post several times a week, a piece of linkbait (like a free tool for download from that blog), and one social media press release (which includes social bookmarking options) to announce the release of that new tool.

You may not get as much “stuff” for your $5000, but the targeted approach very often leads to greater returns for the same investment. In this case, you’ll have a populated blog attracting links and readers naturally, a free download which will attract even more links and visitors naturally, and a news release helping to give that tool’s launch an edge by promoting it to other bloggers and members of your target market. The key is the cohesiveness–finding tools and tactics that work well collectively to reach your marketing goals.

Knowing When Enough is Enough

Sometimes trying to get more, or do more, will actually give you less. That’s very true in social media marketing and jumping on the hype of new tools (many of which are fads that die down significantly in just a few months to a few years).

Target your social media marketing campaign not only to tools that actually reach your audience right now, but also to tools that will give you the best return on the time or money you sink in. Your social media marketing plan won’t necessarily look like anyone else’s. Even the most talked-about tool may not be right for your company, your budget, or your potential visitors and customers.

Remember that tried and true marketing strategies have earned that reputation for a reason. Don’t sacrifice promotional efforts that are already successful for your company to pursue new tools that may have a heavy learning curve (meaning more time invested) unless your market research tells you that tool or tactic can work even better than what you’re already doing.

It’s okay to try social media tools as they’re released. Just never forget to find out how your customers are using those tools before you invest in them solely for fear of being left behind.

38 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a good idea to keep up with your stats, and then focus on the ones that are working for you. I have backed off several sites recently, because after a year they didn’t even come up in the top 10 social media traffic generators for my site.

  2. It’s a good idea to keep up with your stats, and then focus on the ones that are working for you. I have backed off several sites recently, because after a year they didn’t even come up in the top 10 social media traffic generators for my site.

  3. Love the post. Find the channels that work best for your business’s niche and go from there – create a social media marketing plan to maximize your efforts. Don’t waste time tweeting about cats if your business has to do with dog biscuits.

    Great content that’s properly promoted will get rewarded. If you have the time to optimize your efforts then I do suggest aggregations and wide satellite exposure. Organic results are mostly about backlinks, like it or not.

  4. Love the post. Find the channels that work best for your business’s niche and go from there – create a social media marketing plan to maximize your efforts. Don’t waste time tweeting about cats if your business has to do with dog biscuits.

    Great content that’s properly promoted will get rewarded. If you have the time to optimize your efforts then I do suggest aggregations and wide satellite exposure. Organic results are mostly about backlinks, like it or not.

  5. It’s definitely a good idea to stay on top of your stats–not only with social media, but with any marketing strategy you pursue. Testing is a natural part of marketing, and not everything we try will be something we stick with. The problem really only comes in when we get the business owners and other professionals who feel like they must have a hand in everything at once. They spread themselves (and their budgets) so thin that it’s really impossible to get the best results from any given tactic, nonetheless the full marketing campaign.

  6. It’s definitely a good idea to stay on top of your stats–not only with social media, but with any marketing strategy you pursue. Testing is a natural part of marketing, and not everything we try will be something we stick with. The problem really only comes in when we get the business owners and other professionals who feel like they must have a hand in everything at once. They spread themselves (and their budgets) so thin that it’s really impossible to get the best results from any given tactic, nonetheless the full marketing campaign.

  7. I agree, in some ways. Companies should not just jump into social media tactics, if they know they can’t deliver it in the best way. It’s always good to know the limits.

    Social media is about engaging and interacting. However, the more important key is to plan a strategy, instead of just throwing money into hiring bloggers, posters, and twitterers. Companies have to know who, where and how to influence.

  8. I agree, in some ways. Companies should not just jump into social media tactics, if they know they can’t deliver it in the best way. It’s always good to know the limits.

    Social media is about engaging and interacting. However, the more important key is to plan a strategy, instead of just throwing money into hiring bloggers, posters, and twitterers. Companies have to know who, where and how to influence.

  9. Very true Tim. The financial example was only one – I find that when it comes to ROI and value, business owners tend to respond best to seeing the financials laid out.

    It’s about even more than knowing the tools’ limits though. Even if a tool could successfully reach and influence a part of your audience, time and money should only be invested if it A) won’t take away from tools and tactics already doing a better job and B) if the additional time and money is there to invest. Otherwise we get into the area of people spreading themselves too thin.

    It’s good that you brought up engagement and interaction. One of the things I’ve seen far too often in a PR capacity is companies jumping into social media to talk “at” their audiences. They allow comments perhaps, but they don’t actually have conversations. They post what they want, and then they ignore their audience beyond that. In some cases, they simply didn’t take into account the amount of time effective social media marketing can take.

  10. Very true Tim. The financial example was only one – I find that when it comes to ROI and value, business owners tend to respond best to seeing the financials laid out.

    It’s about even more than knowing the tools’ limits though. Even if a tool could successfully reach and influence a part of your audience, time and money should only be invested if it A) won’t take away from tools and tactics already doing a better job and B) if the additional time and money is there to invest. Otherwise we get into the area of people spreading themselves too thin.

    It’s good that you brought up engagement and interaction. One of the things I’ve seen far too often in a PR capacity is companies jumping into social media to talk “at” their audiences. They allow comments perhaps, but they don’t actually have conversations. They post what they want, and then they ignore their audience beyond that. In some cases, they simply didn’t take into account the amount of time effective social media marketing can take.

  11. [...] Social Media Marketing: Enough is Enough Social bookmarking. Social networking. Blogging. Microblogging. Are you using them all in your social media marketing efforts? What about online video, content aggregators, podcasts, social media news releases, forums, and photo sharing? [...]

  12. It’s true if you try to be too many places at once you are most likely not going to be very successful on any of them. I think it’s best to focus one a few maybe 3 or 4 depending on how much resources you have to devote to social media. If you spread yourself out too thing across too many social platforms you are more likely to be just spinning your wheels.

  13. It’s true if you try to be too many places at once you are most likely not going to be very successful on any of them. I think it’s best to focus one a few maybe 3 or 4 depending on how much resources you have to devote to social media. If you spread yourself out too thing across too many social platforms you are more likely to be just spinning your wheels.

  14. It’s true, and more- all social media communities are very different and people on these communities like different posts and themes, so you must have to find right community for your niche.

  15. It’s true, and more- all social media communities are very different and people on these communities like different posts and themes, so you must have to find right community for your niche.

  16. [...] Social Media Marketing: Enough is Enough Social bookmarking. Social networking. Blogging. Microblogging. Are you using them all in your social media marketing efforts? What about online video, content aggregators, podcasts, social media news releases, forums, and photo sharing? [...]

  17. They could, but smart business owners also know that time is money and that outsourcing is a highly effective way to grow a business. “Saving” that $5000 could cost them much more in lost billable hours or lost time spent on other important aspects of running their business. That option would really only work out favorably for people who don’t have the budget to begin with.

  18. They could, but smart business owners also know that time is money and that outsourcing is a highly effective way to grow a business. “Saving” that $5000 could cost them much more in lost billable hours or lost time spent on other important aspects of running their business. That option would really only work out favorably for people who don’t have the budget to begin with.

  19. And keep in mind that it’s highly unlikely any business owner will master ALL of the relevant aspects of social media on their own, no matter how much time they put into it. Not everyone can turn into a great writer. Not everyone can turn into a great video producer (especially when dealing with budget videos). If you want the best for your business, you find the best in each of those areas (and others).

  20. And keep in mind that it’s highly unlikely any business owner will master ALL of the relevant aspects of social media on their own, no matter how much time they put into it. Not everyone can turn into a great writer. Not everyone can turn into a great video producer (especially when dealing with budget videos). If you want the best for your business, you find the best in each of those areas (and others).

  21. Social media help your business alot if you use this in right direction because now a days this become a pwerful tool to promote your business.No body can denied the truth of the social media.If some body think that its not useful for your business it may be your business is not fit on the situatoin where social media can’t help you.
    http://gfsoul.com

  22. I agree. I still believe that you need to really understand something before you can use them to your advantage. And for many people, they do social media just because they know that other people are doing it.
    SEOP Inc

Leave a Reply