Don’t Miss The Forest For The Trees: Social Media Isn’t Magic

Despite what you heard in 1979, video didn’t actually kill the radio star. In fact, video gave the radio star a new way of reaching out to listeners, making them a bigger star than ever.

Video changed the way musicians presented themselves. With music videos now hitting the airwaves, the way the band looked was just as important as the way they sounded. In some cases, as we learned in the ’80s, how they looked was sometimes more important. Musicians used video to reach more listeners and, in turn, sell more records.

But this isn’t a new phenomenon. Whenever a new means of communication comes along, the game is forever changed. But as people still mailed letters after the phone was invented and still listened to the radio after the advent of MTV, it’s clear one isn’t the end of another.

In the same way, traditional Internet marketing hasn’t met its end at the hand of social media. Rather, it provides strategic marketing plans a new avenue to reach potential customers.

The keyword here is complement — not replacement.

It’s in this way that businesses should view social media. It’s a tool that should be used as part of an all-encompassing strategy. Social media should complement your overall strategic plan – not replace it.

As a stand-alone marketing tactic, social media cannot survive. You can have mountains of followers on Twitter and Facebook and pin your heart out on Pinterest, but there’s still a sizeable group of people you won’t reach. It’s through other marketing endeavors that you’ll reach your whole audience.  Broader, more traditional marketing is what bridges the gap.

A successful marketing plan takes full advantage of any means necessary to get found by customers. An effective website, email marketing, contests and promotions, banner ads, published articles, blogs, educational tools and materials, search engine marketing and optimization. These are all tools that allow you to market your brand to a larger audience. In other words, they get your brand’s message to potential customers.

But it’s when you combine these marketing tools with a strong social media presence that you’ve got yourself a strong, overall marketing plan. Your social media presence is not only a direct pipeline to consumers but it’s also a valuable tool for promoting your online content. By using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can market your other marketing efforts, i.e. your email updates, newsletters and company website. Yes, that may sound silly, but it’s all about getting your brand out to as many people as possible. These tools should be leveraged to get potential customers back to your website, the Ground Zero of your marketing plan.

So while businesses should fully embrace the power of social media and all that it has to offer, they need to keep the radio tuned to a comprehensive approach to marketing.