The unfortunate reality in social media marketing today is this: many clients think “someone on the staff” can handle the company’s social media program “in their spare time.”
“Social media? Not worth wasting time or money on.”
Some clients see social media planning as an afterthought that’s not important to waste money on. They don’t see any need to hire a dedicated social media manager or train someone on staff to conduct the social media program full-time, let alone hire an experienced consultant to create an effective social media marketing strategy.
Who has time for strategy? Why not just go ahead and implement?
To a “naive” social media marketer (meaning someone who is just getting into it), it may not even be obvious that a strategy is necessary. Heck, social media is free, isn’t it? So why bother? Just do it! Tweet, blog, get a FB page, and you’re golden, right? WRONG.
Social media marketing requires a strategy, just like traditional advertising and marketing. And a sound strategy comes about by knowing the answers to some very specific marketing-related questions.
Not every staff member you might pay to tweet or blog for you will know how to ask the right questions to inform a marketing strategy. You don’t jump into even the simplest purchase at Walmart before asking a few questions, do you? So why would your company’s image on the Web be less important than the functionality of the camping stove you asked a hundred questions about? Ask the right questions, or regret it when your social media marketing program either dies or blows up in your face.
What are the right questions?
What is it we want to sell (Often not as simple as “a widget.”)? What’s our unique benefit? What’s our message? Who do we want to hear it? What’s our tone? Where do we need to show up so our audience will hear us? How do we combine social media with traditional media?
Okay. Now I know the right questions. So what?
Answering the questions is only the first step. Companies need expert help in formulating and executing a social media marketing plan based on the answers to those questions, just as companies have needed it in any other communication endeavor. And yes, time and money will need to be spent. It’s a fact of social media life.
Who can help?
The person who puts together your social media strategy can be a stated “expert in social media marketing plans,” a social-media-hip agency, or an independent contractor. But whoever you hire, make sure they know the right questions to ask. Anyone who has spent time as a writer at advertising agencies should have a basic list of questions to ask before suggesting you jump into execution of an ad hoc marketing plan. And some idea of how to proceed from there.
During my couple of decades as a senior ad agency writer, I learned how to develop marketing strategies, then added two other tools that help fine-tune the communication needs of the client and the campaign. Armed with these tools and my experience, I can help any client develop an effectively targeted, well-written and pitch-perfectly voiced marketing plan in traditional and/or social media.Fact is, I don’t know HTML from STP, and there are lots of people you can get to write code. But when you plan a marketing campaign, whether traditional or social media, you need the ability to think like a successful marketer. You need to ask (and answer) the right questions before you plunge into implementation. And I can help you do that.
My budget’s too small to hire an expert.
If you have a small budget, you can’t afford NOT to hire an expert to help you focus your traditional or social media marketing efforts as sharply as possible. If you need your marketing brain sharpened, give me a call at 913.236.7595. Let’s think together— about making your campaign a success to be proud of.