Social Media Does Not Replace Marketing Strategy

crowd In yet another moment of informational threading, here’s a post by Dan Kennedy about hyper productive markets. Kennedy points out that knowing your rough sales target is one thing, but knowing the most productive and yielding part of the whole bunch is worth so much more.

Thread this together with Robert Middleton’s post about a karate model for marketing. There’s a lot to it, but the key point was something he took out of another presentation he’d seen, and that was this:

1. You first have to get your clients and customers to consume what you’ve already sold them.
2. You need to offer new services in progressively more complex stages if you are going to truly serve them.

I’m working on launching a few new things at work, and they are projects that have strong social media and new marketing elements to them. In so doing, I’m thinking a lot about what these tools can do for the communities we serve, and I’m also thinking about the marketplace elements that my business will need to sustain this all. My company is in the business of helping people connect, learn, and do business together. We do this through creating content, building online and face-to-face events, and enabling a marketplace between people selling emerging technologies and people looking to understand which of these technologies will help them next.

Kennedy’s point that understanding that there’s a group of people you can sell to, but within that group lies a more productive area is useful. Middleton’s points about having some kinds of level-ups in your marketing efforts struck a chord insofar as one might consider narrowing the potential funnel for specific products and services (and thereby marketing efforts) once you move deeper into territory that applies only to a select few.

Social Media Lets You Go Wide, But YOU Have to Make it Go Deep

The tools we use to create social media: blogging, podcasting, video, social networks, etc, are great at building potential relationships, growing community, serving an audience, helping people find your business, and several other things.

BUT social media tools alone are not especially built to carve out more productive customers on their own. That still requires a strategy and surrounding marketing and products to help convert potential segments of the community into potential business customers. And remember, as I’m fond of saying: be clear about who makes up the community at large, and who makes up your marketplace, because confusing the two can be deadly.

My Takeaways, and Your Ideas

From those two articles, I have taken away the following:

  • Data and understanding who makes up your community is still crucial, no matter the toolset.
  • Social media tools will be useful in communicating with the community to understand their needs.
  • Helping sort the early “grazers” from the committed buyers will help both sides of our community.
  • Finding ways to help our audience “level up” within the community would help the whole process.
  • I need to read even more outside of social media to bring it back home to how I use the tools.

Did you read the articles? What did you take from them? How are you working on this within your organization?

The Social Media 100 is a project by Chris Brogan dedicated to writing 100 useful blog posts in a row about the tools, techniques, and strategies behind using social media for your business, your organization, or your own personal interests. Swing by [] for more posts in the series, and if you have topic ideas, feel free to share them, as this is a group project, and your opinion matters.

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Photo credit, Jurvetson

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