The Pros and Cons of Social Media

Most of my new clients are not regular users of social media. Less than a fifth of them ever take more than a brief glimpse at Facebook. They are busy SMEs and the world of Twitter and Snapchat and Instagram is a world that doesn’t interest them.

Telling them they should use social media as a marketing tool is like telling them to take a big spoonful of the yucky cough medicine our mother’s used to swear by. They will literally grimace and say something like “social media isn’t for me, I’ll stay away from all that.”

This is an understandable response. But it’s also a big mistake. More and more people are spending more and more time on one or more social media platforms every single day.

Business gurus like to use the phrase ‘marketing funnel’. It’s a fancy way of talking about guiding people towards buying your products. Once upon a time the best place to start a funnel was in the Golden Pages, but those days are long gone. Most people haven’t opened a phone book in years. But most people open Facebook every day.

Some people think that social media is just for youngsters. And most social media platforms start out being aimed at the youth market. But Facebook is over ten years old. So as well as getting new customers its original base of teenagers are now twenty somethings with money to spend.

If your business chooses to ignore them it may not be in the end of the world. But more and more people are relying on social media as their primary source of fun, news and product information. Ignoring a demographic group that’s growing that fast could mean the end of your business.

But the cough medicine grimace is still there. And just as telling someone that the medicine is good for them won’t make them like the taste, telling some people the advantages of social media won’t make them want to do it. There’s an important difference though. You have to drink the medicine yourself, but you can pay someone to do your social media.

For many of my clients I handle every single aspect of their social marketing. I really enjoy it. Not just for the money, though I never complain about that, but because they give me the freedom to represent their company in the best way possible.

But how do I represent a company that I’m not involved in? Very easily. I get involved. I learn the business, its products and its services. A regular phone call with the company, usually weekly, keeps me up to date with all their news and then I go ahead and spread the word. I spend time every week reading, browsing and googling information to share with their followers online.

The research is important because it’s what makes social marketing work. If all you’re saying is “Brand X is great, buy Brand X” then you’ll never grow your audience, you’ll never develop clever ads, and you won’t persuade people to encourage their friends and family to check out your company.

Can you picture yourself hunkering down and learning enough about social media to reach this goal? And if so, can you picture yourself taking the time out of your week, every week, to do it? If either of those questions make you picture a big bottle of cough medicine then get in touch, and we’ll chat about how we can make social marketing work for you.