Big Picture Social Media Marketing
I was recently asked an interesting question. I was visiting a friend and I was bringing her up to date on recent events in my life including the sudden growth of my company. I had said something about how we had a service that most businesses needed and she asked me, “Don’t most companies have a marketing department that deals with that?”
That is a good question isn’t it? Now I am going to admit that I have not run the actual stats on that yet (although I will add it to my research list), but I can tell you what my experience has been. I was in the boardroom of a company a couple months back that does $40 million a year and I had to do the presentation on a flip chart because they were not set up for power-point nor were they interested in following on a computer. Nope. I am not kidding. Their sales staff did not use any social media and their in house communication systems were archaic. Frankly they have no competitors and that has been their only saving grace.
A lot of marketing programs were developed within companies more than two years ago. So much has changed in social media and overall in online strategies that they have simply not been able to keep up. Others have focused in one or two areas but they have not explored the value of other opportunities that are newly available. To stay current they would have to have several employees focused on these channels on an ongoing basis, and some are not even sure they want their staff online. They have yet to discover the value of finding new qualified leads and engaging clients through these mediums. We have also noted that companies have restructured, changed direction, or have taken on specific projects that could benefit from a more comprehensive online strategy and they are unaware of the impact they could be making until we have a consultation.
Many moderate size businesses with 20 to 50 employees in Calgary have marketing departments that have set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account and got the top 3 employees on LinkedIn, but there is no consistency in posting, and no identified message going forth. Some of these have hired us to come in as social media consultants and train their existing sales and marketing departments how to effectively use innovative email marketing and successful internet strategies. They have realized that they need a more aggressive campaign to reach into their market but social media moves so fast that they have not been able to keep up, and being consistent has evaded them entirely in many cases.
I have met with dozens of small business owners who are convinced they need social media but they are completely overwhelmed with the task of it. Small counts on the “likes” abound and they are not sure even how to run a contest. Many do not have a landing page and they don’t understand the need for one.
I rarely run into a company that is using an email system that matters. Seriously, if it can’t be tracked it doesn’t matter. They don’t know how many bounced, if it was opened, if anything was clicked through on, or if it made any impact at all. So it was wasted cyber space sales spam without a purpose, and usually it was even worse than that. Logos dominate, spacing sucks, fonts are all over the map, and they look like something from an MLM nightmare.
So no, I haven’t read the stats, but I would say “The marketing department does not have this covered!” We are talking about something different, and something real. We create awesome, value-added content. Then we put it into pretty emails and we train your clients to open it, respond to it, and send it to others. We post it to your Facebook page and we get others to engage in it. We re-post it to other social channels and we don’t wait for it to have comments made on it and think that somehow the viral fairy will show up and give you a couple website hits that will convert into sales. We MAKE IT HAPPEN!
It is not always about the big numbers of friends, likes, connections or followers. Those can be useful and we do try to grow a client’s accounts for them to broaden their influence and establish them as thought leaders in their industry but that is really big numbers for a small picture mentality. When we had only 40 connections on LinkedIn our phone was ringing with new business.
It is really about the relationship that we have with our client, and then it is about their relationship with their customers. It is our job to help create that for them either by doing all of the work or by training them to participate in the work.
Social media is not the only part of the picture. It is just a big part of the picture. That picture though still includes the other parts of the marketing department. It is not about replacing one thing with another, it is more about enhancement and integrating, and working all of the moving parts together. It is about being the change that you desire to see in your relationships online and in real time. Sometimes we need to take a step back from being “in” the business that we do and look at the larger picture. As we do this we are “on” our business with a view from 30 000 feet above. That is where we strategize from and then build the tactical plan that goes with the vision.
One big picture for one big success!