When you’re thinking about whether you should come to the Jan. 24th Office Hours presentation on Social Media Prioritized, ask yourself “What is Social Media?” Sure, we could all rattle off the different platforms- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more- but What does Social Media do for you or your business? How does it add value, and at what cost?
How you look at social media and each platform takes on new significance when you think of it as an integral part of your business. Is it all about communications? Is it Advertising? Is it Public Relations? Where do I put it in my budget? And most importantly, where can I best reach my customers and audience to make it all worth my while?
I was brought up in the industry “old school” - in the days of TV, print and radio. Advertising budgets were in the millions. And they were carefully planned by a Marketing Department and Media Buyers. Tracking was done by measuring sales or attendance or traffic. “Reach” was measured by media markets and organizations like Arbitron and Neilsen. The point is that the ability to micro-target your demographic wasn’t there. But what was there was a marketing plan - not just a media plan - to find your best prospect/customer/end user in a world where reach and information only came in generalities.
Today’s ability to choose multiple marketing/advertising platforms, both old school and Social Media, has given us the ability to practically see into people’s homes. It has created a culture of interaction, not just information. And of course the tools to measure these interactions have evolved into an Orwellian collection of personal information and purchasing power.
Who are the gatekeepers of all of this information? The graph below tells you which platforms are most in use today and what marketers likely plans are for use in the future.
With so many choices of platforms and programs, a real marketing plan is a must. Each of these platforms has a use and an optimal target audience. While it is tempting to react to the Social Media platform’s push to “Boost” your ad (yes, they advertise to end users), do you know what you are getting for that spend and how to evaluate its return on your investment? Without a plan, realistic expectations and goals, how will you ever know whether your time and energy is helping to grow your business? If it is not part of the marketing plan, maybe we should think twice.
So when Nancy Dibert speaks to us about “Social Media Prioritized”, listen hard because there will be a lot of useful nuggets about what the platforms do, but more importantly, how to use them to create your optimal marketing plan.
See you on Thursday, January 24 at The Creamery in Kennett Square.