While I’m a staunch social media loyalist, I’m well aware of what it can do and what it can’t do for online marketing. I’ve always advocated that the best social marketing strategy for a business is to pick the optimal mix of online marketing and traditional marketing techniques.
I firmly believe that social media marketing is a blessing in disguise for conventional marketing and it’s actually helping revive the legacy marketing campaigns. Social media marketing and traditional marketing techniques go hand in hand. They are not meant to replace each other and any such attempts to replace one with the other is bound to have catastrophic consequences for any business.
Here are the top 10 reasons why a business should not keep its entire social media marketing efforts online and rather focus on choosing a hybrid (online + legacy) marketing strategy.
1) Not everybody is online
Though it’s fair to say that we live in the age of Web 2.0 and the internet revolution has truly arrived, however it’s equally true that not everybody accesses the internet. In fact, less than 30% of world’s overall population has access to the internet. Therefore, conventional social marketing techniques are required to reach out to customers who do not access the internet and social networks.
2) Broader Perspective
Traditional marketing techniques are capable of spreading brand awareness with a broader perspective. Online marketing can seldom match print, TV and other legacy marketing campaigns when it comes to reaching out to people from various walks of life.
3) Structured & Consistent
Traditional Marketing techniques are more structured and consistent as compared to social marketing. While social media brings in innovation, critics often point out that it’s not standardized and lacks consistency as compared to traditional marketing techniques. In contrast, conventional marketing techniques are structured and follow a well defined rule of thumb.
In order to get maximum recognition, a business needs to adopt an approach which combines the best of both worlds – traditional marketing and online marketing using social media. If either of the two is missing, your business is likely to miss out on the recognition that it deserves.
While the internet is by and large secure, there’s some degree of risk involved when it comes to the security of social networks. In the past, hackers have shown that social networks are vulnerable to malware and security attacks thereby promoting the philosophy that it’s way too risky to rely on social media alone to launch a marketing campaign.
6) Social Media Isn‘t Meant for Selling
Social networks were not invented as a medium to sell. While it’s true that Facebook and Twitter have turned out to be fantastic marketing tools, they were not originally meant to be used for marketing. And when it comes to aggressive selling, social media networks sound too pushy.
7) Openness/ Privacy Concerns
Social networks are like open books. While they offer an unparallel reach, their openness can be discomforting at times for any business. Word of mouth – be it good or bad spreads like fire in the world of social media marketing. And then there is the all important concern over “privacy” when it comes to using social networks.
8 ) Social Media is a means, not an end
When it comes to businesses, the final objective is to make profits – be it using traditional media and/ or social media. There are millions of success stories where businesses have effectively used social media along with traditional media to achieve the final object – higher revenues and more profits.
9) Getting the basics right
Social Media Marketing isn’t a magic wand. It is crucial to get the basics of marketing right before you join the social media bandwagon in order to get the maximum benefits from social media marketing. And there’s no better way to getting the basics right than to go back to traditional marketing techniques.
10) Impact on ROI
One of the biggest criticisms of social media marketing is that its impact on ROI isn’t measurable. While it provides a feel good factor, there needs to be a measurement mechanism which determines how social media is affecting the bottom line of your business. Social media needs support from traditional marketing in order to measure the overall impact on a business’s Return On Investment.