Oh yes! We are going there and we know how odd it is as a social media agency to be the ones to point this out but bear with us.. we know what we’re talking about after managing 100+ social media accounts throughout our careers! 😜
So you’ve heard the term “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, right? Well that rings very true for your marketing strategy. While we loveee social media and know the power it has to build your brand, community, and ultimately sales, it really shouldn’t be your end-all, be-all for your marketing. Why’s that? Because your social media efforts are much more effective in conjunction with a larger marketing plan.
Why you shouldn’t solely rely on social media:
Constant changes: We don’t have to tell you more than once that social media companies are constantly making changes to their algorithms, which unfortunately we have no control over. This means that when a change happens and you’re not prepared to make adjustments immediately, your marketing is down the drain and your business suffers. When you have other pieces in your marketing plan, you’re able to have more flexibility to allow yourself time to pivot when changes occur.
You don’t own them: You know the days when Instagram or Facebook are down and you can’t post for the day? Well that day you’re not actively marketing your brand if you don’t have a more comprehensive marketing plan! You’re basically out of luck. And not that we see this happening but what if for some reason Instagram and Facebook were to poof! disappear? Or your account was hacked and you lose all your followers and/or content? That means your only marketing channel would be gone.
You’ll have more success with a comprehensive marketing plan: When you have a full marketing plan encompassing more that just social media, you can reach more people leading to greater success. Your target market isn’t always going to stumble across your social media posts so they may never even find you if that’s your only focus.
So what should you focus on when it comes to your marketing plan?
All of your marketing pieces should work together to maximize results. Here are a few areas you may be missing and how they work within your overall strategy:
Content Marketing: Yes, social media is part of your content marketing but it’s not the only strategy included in it. Content marketing involves anything of value that you create for your audience. It doesn’t necessarily sell your brand but it gives people an idea what it would be like to work with you or builds interest in your products. This includes:
Social media posts
Free resources (checklist, worksheet, etc.)
As you create this content, you want to make sure people are receiving it too. This means your blog posts can be shared on social media or in an email newsletter. You can use the free resources you created as an opt-in to build your email list. Blog posts help boost your SEO so it’s easier for people to find you when they Google search terms. You can also leverage your different content to help in your PR strategy by pitching yourself as an expert in your field (and you have the content to prove it!).
PR Strategy: Public relations is often overlooked (we get it.. you either don’t know how to get featured or you don’t have the budget to hire someone) but it’s a great way to get your brand in front of a new audience. Plus, you actually don’t need a budget and can do some of it by yourself! Sign up for HARO and you’ll get a list of stories that reporters are looking for sources for. Find the contacts for your local newspaper and reach out to them. You won’t know until you give it a shot!
When you do get press mentions, you want to make sure you’re sharing this on social media and in your email marketing so your established audience knows about it. That way you can build additional credibility with them as you simultaneously reach a new audience.
The backlinks for the article (if online) are also great for your SEO. Don’t forget to add it to your website too so when people do stumble upon your brand online, they know you know your ish!
Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is a little bit of a mix between social media and PR and seriously one of our favorite ways to help new brands hit the masses! Just like with PR, you don’t need to have a huge budget to do it! Use social media to identify some of your favorite bloggers/influencers and reach out to them to see if they’d be interested in trying your product in exchange for a shout out on social media. (Keep in mind influencers with a larger audience will require compensation so don’t count out nano- and micro-influencers!)
But once you secure some influencers and they post about your brand, you’re able to leverage that content for your own social media (helloooooo #reposts) and even leverage bigger partnerships or even some press! Plus showing that influencers love your brand is super helpful in your sales strategy too… anything to show there’s a strong demand for your product/service.
Email Marketing: Building your email list is another crucial part to building your audience. Just like with social media, these are your most loyal followers so you want to give them an opportunity to stay connected with the brand. Here is where you can share blog posts and other content you created. You can use a freebie to get them on your list. You can provide them with exclusive offers/discounts to promote sales. You have the opportunity to do a lot here once you get them on your list.
Sales Strategy: Obviously you need to make sales to stay in biz so creating a sales strategy is essential! Depending on your brand, it may entail pitching retailers to carry your products or if may revolve more heavily on selling directly to customers. Social media will fall into this, especially if you’re selling directly to customers, but it may also entail going to trade shows or other events to sell your products to retail/consumers or if may be seeking out your favorite local retailer to pitch your products to them. Whatever it is, it’s important to have this piece locked down.
Every single piece of your marketing strategy should be focused on this end goal so it should all support your sales strategy. For example, your social media is going to reflect your overall brand to help a retailer or consumer determine if it’s a good fit for them. (We had a client go into a meeting with GNC and get complimented on their social media efforts.. retailers notice and pay attention to the brands they carry!). Your content and email marketing helps build a connection with your audience and creates a following for your brand, ultimately leading to sales. Your PR and influencer strategy will help illustrate the demand for your brand to both retailers and consumers.
As you can see, all of these pieces intertwine with each other to start to form your entire marketing plan but you can only do this if you have these pieces in place! So yes, we’re still sticking with don’t make social media your end-all, be-all for your brand… create something larger to guarantee your success!