In any modern marketing strategy, there tends to be three strands: social, SEO, and content.
So-called ‘content marketing’ is the latest craze, whereby marketing companies are falling over themselves to create as much relevant content as possible to engage the consumer… and the search engine robots.
Integral to this strategy is social media, which had a part to play in guiding consumers towards the content.
But let’s be a little bit radical here, and suggest that you cut out social altogether. Is that even advisable in the current climate, let alone a possibility?
It could be argued that the impact of social media has been greatly exaggerated. In a recent report, ‘active’ Twitter users in the UK reached a staggering 10 million. That’s a phenomenal leap from just a few years ago. Yet 10 million is less than five per cent of the US population.
Facebook is a little more ubiquitous, with 24 million active users and 33 million engaging with it at least once a month. Again, very impressive. But with only a third of the UK population actively logging into Facebook with enough regularity to make marketers interested, are we in danger of focusing on too small a demographic?
There is a tremendous amount of noise on the Internet these days and some reports suggest that the big social media platforms are in danger of losing traction. That’s not to say that social media itself will be a fad. It’s likely that Facebook and Twitter will be around for a good while yet, and continue to be viable platforms through which to do business.
But what about alternatives? Perhaps some businesses are so busy complying with the mantra that ‘you must be on social media’ that they are forgetting about other ways of connecting with customers. Word-of-mouth is still a potent force in marketing, as is advertising and events designed to get potential customers in the room and learning about what you have to offer.
And the fact is that many companies continue to thrive, without ever having joined the social media bandwagon at all.
There’s no doubt that social media, when employed creatively, can be a real boost to business. But not all businesses fit too well within the sometimes trivial environment that social media propagates. In such cases, you get businesses that use social media badly – so badly, in fact, that they might actually be losing business as a result.
All businesses need to plan their social media strategy effectively. In some cases, it may be that staying off all together is the best policy. And, you know what? That’s quite okay!