Saturday, June 13, 2015

Social Media Marketing Should Not Be Used Alone Today

marketing-social-media-other Entrepreneurs and startups often ask if they should select only social media for marketing, or stick with digital media, or just count on traditional media. The answer is yes to all, and the challenge is how to choose how much of each, and how to integrate them for maximum impact and the least cost. None should be considered competitive mutually exclusive to any other.

Social media as a marketing tool is here to stay, and is now widely accepted. According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, 94% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) now use social media as a marketing tool, and 81% use it to drive growth. The challenge is now to effectively integrate social media with traditional media, and thus move your marketing ahead of the crowd.

This integration, or fusion with traditional marketing, is discussed in detail, with examples, in “The Fusion Marketing Bible,” by Lon Safko, author of bestseller “The Social Media Bible.” I like his outline of five steps to the proper utilization of integrated media as follows:
  1. Analyze your existing media. Every business should look at its cost of customer acquisition (COCA) and return on investment (ROI) twice a year and after each campaign. This is independent of whether your existing marketing media include traditional or social media, or both. The tools and measurements are the same for both.

  2. Focus first on the social media trinity. Don’t try to tackle all 20 major categories of digital social media at once. The big three, which have 90 percent of everything you need, include blogging (Wordpress or Blogger), microblogging (Twitter), and social networks (Facebook or LinkedIn). These give good customer connection and SEO.

  3. Integrate your social media content with some traditional media. Traditional marketing is sales-focused, one-way push. Social media is relationship-building, interactive, two-way pull. To get first-time buyers today, you need push for coupons and business cards, and you need relationship pull through social media for customer service.

  4. Assimilate available resources to determine the level of rollout. Available resources are a function of management buy-in, staff, and budget. Of course, more resources are “better” for marketing, but re-allocating existing resources can be equally effective. Pay attention to in-house skills, skilled contract workers, and even students for social media.

  5. Iteratively implement and measure value received. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Digital and social media all go through a computer at one point or another, so it’s much easier to measure than billboard “impressions.”
The goal of these steps is to create a seamless interface between getting your message out there and heard, and listening and responding to customer feedback. This will insert your brand into the online and offline conversations, drive traffic, and drive sales, at the lowest possible marketing cost.

With integrated marketing campaigns, Lon asserts that companies like SAP and IBM are reporting that targeted prospects are responding at a 3 to 5 percent rate on the average, which is an increase of 73 percent compared to standard e-mail campaigns. Others, like TransUnion, learned long ago that they could get an improved ROI after integrating social media, with $2.5 million in savings in less than five months while spending about $50,000.

But don’t jump into social media or any marketing program without a plan. Lon references one Fortune 500 company he worked with which accumulated more than 19 million friends, all chatting about its products. But he could not find any evidence of monetization, or even a strategy. I talked to a company last year who identified 37 employees with social media in their title across the country. I wouldn’t want to do the ROI on that one.

The importance of effective marketing has never been higher, for every startup, in this age of information overload and customer relationships. How integrated is your marketing, and how carefully are you measuring your marketing investment? The success of your business depends on both.

Marty Zwilling




  1. Social media is free to an extent as you can do most of the work yourself, but even placing an add in your local newspaper can find you customers or spread the word about your ideas and business. What you have to figure out is which one works best for you.

  2. Besides using the mentioned social media channels you could consider articles on your own website as content marketing. You deliver content the user might have paid for.
    This website - - gives many good insides of being a small business - and Martin Zwilling sells startup information in different forms so I think he is Master in Content Marketing.

    I have made one big business plan content marketing website:
    - the world most visited to be. To maintain the website I plan to sell the publishing rights to companies that want to be associated with entrepreneurs - that is also content marketing.

  3. Good post but I contradict on some of the points. You are right Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, these three are the biggest in terms of number of users but in case, a business wants to grow on social media and as well as on organic marketing then they should focus on Google Plus too. It is one of the most important tool for any businesses if they are thinking of SEO as a marketing strategy.
    And planning is important but for small business or a local startup, diving into social media sites without an initial plan can get them real-time data and lots of innovative ideas. They can use and implement them to make a solid campaign plan and launch it targeting their customers.

    Soumya Roy
    SEO Coach
    PromozSEO Academy India

  4. Good post! The Social Media Marketing Services people say that as you gain more followers, your influence grows. The more people are talking about you on social networks, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will appear to new users. Interacting with major influencers on Twitter or other networks will also greatly increase your authority and reach. The more valuable information you put out there, the more readers will return and share your content.

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