Why Social Media is NOT a Fast Track to Increase Sales

I’m compelled by necessity to note this for anyone interested in pursuing a social media marketing strategy for their business, however, let me predate my little rant with a few key points:

1. It is easy to understand the misinterpretation of social media’s marketing capability thanks how inundated we have become with it. It’s on your TV, it’s in our publications, links are noted on every website. It seems like the greatest thing since the wheel, but remember, a wheel doesn’t turn without help.
2. The ongoing stressed economic climate has a lot of companies looking for new ways to promote their business, get more lead and increase sales on a leaner budget, and that road often leads to considerations of social media potential.
3. This same economic climate has these same companies working under strained budgets and shortened timelines for results.

Having made references, I will get to my point. Social media, like any other marketing tool, takes time to get more leads for your business. It is not direct sales. It is not telemarketing. And if you intend to stay on the legal side of the SPAM Act, it is a building process.

This isn’t to say that social media isn’t a highly-targeted and powerful tool that businesses should add to their marketing arsenol, but despite the fact that Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages are being promoted in TV commercials, the premise is the same with this marketing vehicle as any other.

Some basic marketing tips applied to social media:

1. You must show the WHY of your business to generate leads, let your target market know what makes your company’s services and products DIFFERENT from your competition. Twitter is a good vehicle for this message.
2. Start conversations with key executives that can build your business – use LinkedIn for this aspect of your marketing strategy.
3. Promote your business to consumers who can start word of mouth advertising about your services and company.

There are tons of other niche social media sites that exist to promote your business, and new ones crop up every day. However, there needs to be a dumming down of the expectations of this type of marketing plan. The theories presented by a lot of the “social media” gurus is that this is a FAST way to get signups, increase sales and business, if not the Only Way.

The reality is that social media marketing needs to be part of an integrated marketing strategy, but there is no quick and easy way to build business.

Regular maintenance and attention to your social media profiles and pages, along with revised focus for new ventures and opportunities are all vital for lead generation. Keep your social media “social” with quality interaction and educational content and it will pay off, in time.

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