Choosing to use the word “warning” was not for dramatics or click-bait intent (we strongly discourage against click-bait content). Social Media and a Marketing Strategy is a topic that our agency feels warrants a warning label as it’s critical to both the success of the client and the consultant.
First, I feel it’s important to define what a marketing strategy is before we get any farther into this article. A marketing strategy is a business strategy that incorporates all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. The plan should then provide a roadmap of how your business will achieve those outlined goals.
In the past, we’ve seen a pattern with new clients coming in wanting social media help – they’ve indicated that their main goal with social media is to increase lead generation. When asked if they have a marketing strategy in place, we receive either a blank stare and a head shake as if to say, “what’s a marketing strategy?”, a firm no or a “yes, but it needs work”. It’s at this time we inform the client that social media is NOT what they need at this very moment, a marketing strategy is. Social Media is a great tactic, but it is only a credibility builder.
It’s interesting how many people seek out social media help thinking that it will be their marketing quick fix and, I don’t blame them. The digital world has grown larger than any of us could have ever predicted and it’s still growing to this day. Under the digital marketing umbrella, we have website optimization, SEO, email marketing, PPC, content marketing, online PR, affiliate marketing, native advertising, and social media marketing (I’m just naming a few here, there are other tactics out there). Grasping all of these marketing tactics can be extremely overwhelming and daunting. However, one needs to be aware that in today’s digital space, social media marketing is not a marketing “fix-all” and here’s why:
If your business is lacking or outdated in lead capture, mobile responsiveness, content creation with strong SEO, Google Analytics tracking, and weekly/monthly newsletters, it would be safe to assume a marketing strategy is not in place or being utilized. Now let me ask you this – if social posts are directing readers/consumers to your website and your website has no call to action (CTA’s) to sign-up for your mailing list, call to make an appointment or download a free e-Guide, what do you think will happen? Your social media efforts will come up empty. You’ll wonder why no one is calling the office, why you have no email subscribers or e-Guide downloads.
Social media can only be effective if the marketing strategy and social media strategy go hand in hand. The marketing strategy affects the social strategy and therefore, it’s very much like a domino effect.
Social media can’t act in favour of or fix your marketing strategy especially if your marketing strategy is non-existent or already broken.
So, if you’re a business looking to try social, ensure you have a marketing strategy in place first or hire an agency to help you map out a marketing strategy. And, if you work as a social media consultant, do yourself a favour and ensure your client/s have a marketing strategy in place BEFORE you take the client on. This will greatly decrease any disappointment on your client’s end when your social strategy doesn’t live up to your client’s unrealistic expectations.
Note to business owners: If the question, “do you have a marketing strategy in place?”, is not asked throughout the interview process while recruiting a social media agency, this is a huge red flag and use caution moving forward.
Again, Warning: Don’t Try Social Media Without A Marketing Strategy First