Social Media

The Love Hate Of Social Media

Is It The Marketing Channel For You?

Most of us, as business owners, have a love hate relationship when it comes to social media. Most business owners fall into a couple of different camps; those who have set up accounts but nothing more, those using it because they don’t want to get left behind but don’t really know why, then those using it to grow their audience, generate leads and increase their sales online.

The two frustrations we hear over and over are; is it really worth the investment I make in it, and why am I not getting any sales or phone calls?

I think because we often have personal accounts on social media where we post pictures of our vacations, fantastic looking food pictures and share our exciting news, when it comes to our business, sometimes we don’t see social media as what it is…a marketing channel.

If you think about marketing channels like television channels. Some people watch CNN, others like to watch HGTV, still others like to watch SportsNet. We each have our favorite channels. If you look at the typical viewer of any of those channels, there will be some characteristics they share.

For example, according to Pacific Standard, when it comes to the viewers of HGTV, 47% of viewers have income of over $75,000 and 75% of them own their own home. In other words, if you are living in your parent’s basement, likely you are not an avid watcher of HGTV.

If I am selling a product related to home improvements, advertising on the HGTV channel, would mean I would have access to a group of people who already are interested in the type of product or service I was offering. I could expect by placing an ad there, I would have people call and at least inquire about what I have to offer. While it could be expensive to advertise their, if I looked at the cost per lead, it might be really cheap, because the same people watching, would be my target customer.

On the other hand, if I was selling tickets to a wrestling match and decided to placed my ads on HGTV because it was cheaper to advertise their, than on SportsNet, I likely wouldn’t have the same results. There might be viewers that would cross over, but there would be many that would just disregard the ad in its entirety (bathroom break!). You could spend the same dollars as the person above, and generate far fewer leads, because you were advertising on the wrong channel.

So how does this apply back to social media?

Think about each of the platforms of social media as being the same as a television channel. There is a FaceBook Channel, a Twitter Channel, a TikTok Channel, a LinkedIn Channel, etc. When you look at the demographics and characteristics of the people who generally buy from you, the first question to ask is, do they use social media? Assuming they do, which one?

Recognize there are a lot of different channels out there. There are print ads, webinars, bus benches, videos, vehicle advertising, event sponsorship, speaking engagements, etc. Your target customer may use one or more than one of these channels, but there will be a place where they find their information and wherever that is, is where you want to make your marketing investment.

Regardless of the channel, you need to be prepared to make an investment in that channel. Just because social media is free to use, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put dollars into it. Investments in content creation, in ad development and in running ads, can help you meet your targets. Just like in print ads, website development and most marketing channels, there is a science behind what it takes to capture people’s attention.

Everyday you are competing with thousands of other businesses for people’s attention. If you find that you are not yielding a return from your efforts, you need to be prepared to take a step back and to really understand your customers and where you need to be to get their attention. Making a smart investment in the right marketing channel, will pay you dividends in the end.

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