Say It With Me, Social Media Is Part of Marketing

Originally published on One Uproar

I’ve been hearing a lot about this subject lately: “Are we just attracted to social media because it’s instant gratification?” or better yet Do Campaign Failures put an end to Social Media?.

We’ve all got our opinions so here’s mine. Social media is part of the marketing mix and should be treated like all the other areas of your marketing strategy. If you’re running an integrated campaign that includes advertising, direct marketing and interactive it may make sense to weave in social. It depends. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish? Social has to make sense for your brand. Take a step back and consider the following:

  • What’s the strategy of your campaign?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • How are you reaching customers today?
  • Who are your target customers?
  • What are your digital efforts? Web? Mobile? Advertising? Interactive?
  • How can you get that human element—that emotional connection into your marketing?

The power of social media is making that connection with another person. As a brand you can connect with your existing clients and future clients. It’s very empowering to know that you cantweet your insurance company a question, compliment or compliant and they will answer you back. It feels good to connect with your favorite brands and brands that are referred to you, receive their updates and be able to communicate with thought-leaders in that business.

I was traveling last week and stayed at one of my favorite hotels. I’m a member of their loyalty program which makes me feel special. I get a selection of newspapers, complimentary coffee and juices delivered every morning, free shirt pressing and special rates. When I had dinner at the hotel restaurant I had a certain level of expectation. When my expectation wasn’t met I decided to post a review on Yelp and send a tweet to the hotel letting them know my experience was not optimal. I had a response within minutes.  We exchanged a few emails and the next day a cheese plate and bottle of wine was delivered to my room. A few minutes later the head of Food and Beverage called to invite us back for dinner. So we went. The experience was delightful and we left happy and full.

What’s the lesson here? Human connection. This brand did not solve my problem online; they took it offline and used good old, fashioned customer service. They wowed me. I felt appreciated and my faith in that brand was restored. Remember, you are on social to connect, connect and re-connect. It’s going to be good and bad. Be prepared. Be willing to acknowledge your mistakes, fix problems and help your clients. That’s what every business does: makes their customers happy. I don’t care if you’re a B2B or B2C company—get over it. We all have customers and we all have to make them happy.

Back to my opening comment, social media is part of the marketing mix. Say that with me. Once you start thinking about social media this way your perspective will change. I agree with Doug Stephens of Retail Prophetsocial media won’t save your business. You’ve got to look deep inside your company and figure out what’s right for you. If your brand is suffering fix it. Social media isn’t going to fix it. Social media doesn’t replace all your traditional media; it enhances, enriches and connects you in a way you’ve never been connected before. Get ready because it’s not going away and will continue to evolve.

I’ll talk about metrics and measurement in my next post.