Social media is only part of the answer

I was contacted by a potential client about adding Social Media to the launch of his new service. He was enthusiastic about using social media to generate buzz. He believed that if he had a Facebook page and a celebrity endorser, he’d be successful. Sales would flood in.

I asked him what he did with Twitter and his Facebook page. He assured me that “we have Facebook and Twitter.”

I checked his account. He had both. His website displayed tweets that did not support his brand. His Facebook page was even more confusing. It wasn’t easy to draw any connection between his brand and website.

Okay, I thought. I took inventory. His company name and website had given him a strong presence. Although he had many rivals with similar ideas, he was confident that he would win. He was satisfied that “social media” could broadcast his concept (which he couldn’t define) to the right audience.

I took a deep breath. What’s wrong with the picture? “What’s wrong with this picture?”

  • No marketing strategy
  • Social media cannot be a part of an integrated marketing strategy.
  • On the plus side, a firm belief that buzz will be effective

I warned him against moving too fast and suggested that he take a step back and reconsider the timing of his plan. In essence, I told him to focus on the core of his business and the goal for any social media strategies.

All of it comes down to his website. It was his website that served as the only distribution channel where prospects could experience and evaluate his product before making a purchase decision.

His website was a virtual retail store where he sold his products. He needed to make his virtual store a welcoming place for his customers to shop so they could easily find his products. He required an easy-to-navigate, customer-focused website that described his effects clearly.

He was relying on social media to make up for his lack of business model, well-articulated branding, and distribution strategy.

It was time to get back to basics. I told my clients to ask themselves the following questions prior to launching social media.

What is your business?

You need to understand what type of business you are in before you can develop a marketing strategy. You’re in the “feel-good” business. Are you delivering catchy phrases to make your customers happy? You sell products with your company’s name on them. You may be selling a product or service. Do you sell events as a way to promote your products?

Your vision is only a dream until you know what you do.

What is your business model?

The next step after determining the type of business you are in is to decide how to deliver and create your product or service.

What are your products and services? It doesn’t matter if your products and services are intangibles. They need to be translated. Are you B2B or B2C? B2C? Will you only sell your products or services via your website? Will you work with distributors to distribute products? How will you make money with your business? How will you make money?

What business model will you use to grow your business?

The business concept of my potential client relied on the creation of a logo, which evoked a positive feeling. The logo was to be used on a variety of products, including T-shirts, mugs, and baby items.

A partnership with an affiliated business would help him increase product distribution and also provide an additional revenue stream to complement his Web sales. To build partner relationships, you need a business model and a well-articulated marketing strategy.

What is your target audience?

You need to ask yourself, “Who is your target market?” Once you’ve decided on a business plan and what products and services you will offer, it’s time to decide who you want to reach.

A product or service will be developed with the buyer in mind. The target market can be defined by categorizing the buyer into a specific demographic segment, with their buying habits and time of life needs.

Understanding where to find them and what to do with them is a good start.

What is your plan to increase demand for this service?

Customers must know that you can sell your product on the website, and they should also understand what it is and why they need it.

Social media can help. Social media is a powerful marketing tool that uses many different tactics to create demand. You can use social media to promote your products or services by using tweets, ads strategically placed, product descriptions, Facebook posts, and links, as well as testimonials from happy customers and partners.

My potential client was looking to create buzz by relying on celebrity sponsorship and product placement in TV shows and films. Although celebrity sponsorship can be a powerful tactic, it is important to understand the complexities involved in working with celebrities. Be sure to define your financial return and percentages clearly.

How will you deliver the product to your customer?

Plan your success. Prepare yourself for orders in the double or triple digits. You will have to fulfill the charges when they arrive.

If your customer is having trouble placing an order on your website, they will give up and look elsewhere. If a customer must wait for two weeks before receiving an order, they will only order once.

Before the launch, your back-office operations must be ready. You should ensure that it can handle high volumes of traffic after you have launched a social media campaign to generate demand.

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