Social Media Marketing Is Just Marketing

Last night I was at the top grocery store in my area and ran into someone that was at the conference I got to present at last week. We talked a little bit about some of the programs that were put on, and then we talked about his general opinion of the event.

by Tiffa Day via Flickr

He mentioned that there was so much going on that he knew he’d be skipping some things here and there, like my presentation, because he wanted to take in as much as possible about things he didn’t know much about. He said that he talked to a lot of people who seemed confused at the end of the day, which I knew would happen because if you don’t know a lot about something going in and get inundated with lots of information there’s no way you can retain it all.

What he also said was that as he listened to a lot of the presentations he came to this conclusion; social media marketing shouldn’t be all that much different than traditional marketing, as it’s only a new platform and not a new way of marketing. His point was that the idea of marketing is to attract someone’s interest, get them to at least look at everything you have to offer, and then hopefully buy something before leaving. This takes research to figure out just what you have to offer a potential buyer and then figuring out how to make your message stand out to encourage that buyer to become a customer.

I couldn’t disagree with his general premise, yet I felt he was possibly missing the bigger picture. The reality is that social media marketing gives one the opportunity to branch out beyond their local area and reach a much larger audience in a lot shorter time. With the proper connections, I can talk about my latest project (which, by the way, is my editing a book of early newsletters from my primary business at the moment) and if I get the right audience to notice it the message can be seen by thousands is less than a day. Other than buying a commercial to show during a prime time TV event how many other ways are there to reach that many people? And the costs… forget about it!

Social media marketing also doesn’t have to be that direct to work. In the past I’ve mentioned that any major business not following their name or industry on Twitter is doing themselves a disservice because it’s not giving them the opportunity to either thank people that say nice things about them or correct something that a customer has complained about. These days it’s incumbent to address issues sooner than later because, though one can recover from bad press, it can be harder to do so. Just the other day I had someone comment on an old post of mine complaining about a particular affiliate that didn’t pay me; even when someone might think an issue is gone, online it’s never gone, especially if the company didn’t fix the issue (weasels; still never paid me).

Overall he’s correct; social media marketing is just marketing. But it’s also so much more, and anyone that doesn’t believe this will eventually run into the wall. On that day I hope they call me or someone else to help them get out of it, and then hope it’s not too late.

22 thoughts on “Social Media Marketing Is Just Marketing”

  1. Both of you have a point. Yes, Social Media Marketing follows the same premises of marketing. The main different however, is the scope of the social networking sites. So all one needs to learn is how to “tickle” the interest of people in those sites to help spreads the word on your products or services.

    1. Thanks Tony. I think something I didn’t mention is that the guy I was talking to is close to 60, so he would have some ideas of holding onto the old ways. Still, he’s not totally wrong; I think I kind of fail sometimes on my own because I don’t recognize the marketing potential as often as I can for helping others get it done.

  2. I agree, at times I’m surprised the way some companies ignore the benefits of social media marketing. I guess in time, more will come around. It’s still a new concept for many. I’ve seen a few set up a few accounts on places like Twitter, Facebook, etc., but they don’t do anything with it. Customers leave comments or ask questions but since it’s not actively watching their social media accounts. The questions are unanswered. Wow, really?

    Recently, a big annoyance I’ve encountered (mainly with start up crafting companies) is some are setting up blogs using Blogger. I’m not exactly fond of Blogger, but I’ll comment if the blog owner makes the process easy for me. However there have been several sites that I’ve loved but was unable to comment since they disable Name/URl. Which forces their users to log on just to comment. Sorry, but I’m not doing that.

    Some of my best business connections have been made using social media.

    1. Opal, I hate Blogger, though I know it has a place in the blogging world. What’s strange is seeing businesses going that route, eschewing the SEO prospects that new content will have on their websites, as well as keeping potential customers on their own sites.

      As to businesses not answering questions on their blogs, I really hate that, as well as hating it on many blogs I visit. I’ll drop a blog in a heartbeat where either the person never responds at all or never responds to what I have to say. That’s just bad business.

  3. Hi, Mitch.

    Social media marketing may indeed be just another form of marketing, but it has advantages that could not be found in other forms of marketing. I, for one, found a community online that I learn from everyday. And, they have given me value that I wasn’t able to find in offline marketing methods. 🙂

    1. That’s great stuff Wes. I wish I could find a community that works well for me but I just continue searching for it. However, you’re right in the advantages social media marketing can give you if you’re not holding onto millions of dollars already.

  4. Mitch,

    Social Media Marketing is just Marketing but it is much more. It is like comparing a TV ad with a Party where the same product is being promoted. Marketing goes on at both but the personal marketing that goes on at the party is much more effective.

    Actually Social Media Marketing really combines the two into one. You can advertise to masses of people in a social setting.

    Great post.

    ~Dee Ann Rice

    1. Thanks Dee Ann. I like your analogy a lot as well. Social media does give everyone a chance to interact more with their potential customers, and though I’d caught that as far as taking care of problems, being up front with customers before they buy can be helpful as well.

  5. Definitely there are more similarities than differences, but it is more cost effective and in most cases it is free. One of the thing that I like about social media marketing is that there are ways to track conversion and ROI, offline marketing methods most of the time are untraceable.

    1. Well Carl, it’s easier to track some things, but there’s a major debate as to whether one can accurately track ROI or not. One of the examples given during the presentation was that you could have a customer buy something yet they could have come from one of many things, or even come back from a place they’d seen before and bookmarked you. The best you could do was record a sale online, but you wouldn’t really know what drove that person to your site.

      1. Well compared to ad in magazine or TV, tracking is much more accurate and actually it is pretty simple to add extra field in order form, for example drop-down with different options. Combining this data with other traffic tracking tools can definitely clear the picture.

  6. I agree on this: social media marketing is not JUST marketing but it’s ALSO marketing, that means, it follows the same rules of general marketing but it has a tons more applications, opportunities and also problems.
    Having a marketing background definitely helps you in social media but you can’t treat it as PURE marketing, or you’ll fall in the trap of trying to sell yourself/your business at all costs.

    1. I like that Gabriele; maybe I need you to write my headlines. Oh yeah, the guy said that so I had to go with it. lol Coming from a non-marketing background, I still have problems with the concept overall. I mean, I get that one has to market to get clients, yet I still feel this pull because I’m not happy with a lot of sales people overall. Social media marketing is a way of getting around some of that, yet to be really successful takes the same mental attitude that it probably takes doing any other type of sales.

      1. I usually dislike sales people as well, that’s why I couldn’t ever be one. I mean, one thing is being passionate about what you do and to show that to others (which is, per se, the best marketing possible), another thing is being the classic sales person stereotype, obnoxious and insistent. Urg.

      2. True Gabriele, and yet as independent business people we do have to do our share of marketing or sales, otherwise we get no business. I have to say that I much prefer social media marketing, but it doesn’t work as well with a local market; at least now with some of what I do.

  7. I love it- I have met so many people that way.

    I love when I connect via telephone and make a great friend-1,000’s of miles away, it just plain fun & I’ve done business with many of these people.

    For the record, I cannot stand blogger. I have to REALLY want to leave a comment to go through all the steps it takes me on, the first AND second claiming that my email doesn’t have permission to comment on that site…HELLO?

    If I log back in once or twice (same email!), I can leave the comment…that doesn’t happen often lately!

    1. Carolee, I need a little bit more of you in my mind it seems. I don’t mind connecting with people, but I talk to very few people on the phone. Heck, these days I can’t even get anyone talking through Skype. But I talk to people here and on Twitter, and I’m trying to get more people to interact with me on LinkedIn.

  8. I think the main difference between other marketing channels and social media is direct v/s indirect. Social media marketing is mostly indirect and focuses on brand building and goodwill (at times announcements, news and pre-sales as well)

    Well, I am not a marketing guru… Just my thought 🙂

    1. But it’s a good thought Ajith, and it’s absolutely right, although there are obviously some people on social media trying some direct marketing, at least on Twitter. For that matter some blogs do it as well; I’ve tried a time or two.

  9. Internet Marketing is just Marketing, Social media Marketing is something different as far as I can tell, a branch of the internet marketing, I see it as a new concept that may go away someday or may transform into something even greater.

    1. Cristian, I think SMM is a great extension, but all of it probably needs to be built off the same marketing principles; I need to be better at it. But I’m hoping it translates into greater things as well.

Comments are closed.