Every small or new business owner I meet that doesn’t already have it wants to set up a Facebook Page, Twitter account and begin a “social media” campaign or strategy. Most of them are so blindsided by the whole “Internet” craze that they forget about what’s most important; great products and customer service.
I mean, “What else could you possibly need?”
I recently read an article titled “The Overselling of Social Marketing”, where author Mark Henricks states that small businesses are actually disappointed with social media. Mark goes on to give a visual breakdown in percentages using a graph by eMarketer.com from their article “Small Businesses Change Social Media Expectations”.
The graph represents a report by eMarketer from June 2010 summarizing how small business owners were now viewing social media as a marketing tool and states, “As small businesses have gained experience with social media, some have realized their expectations for the channel did not line up with the reality of the social web.”
I also listened to a presentation by Brian Solis (one of my favorite social media experts) a while ago where he explained that often times organizations are so caught up in “socializing, listening and engaging” that they fail to take action or time out to actually fix or change some of the problems they are listening in on or engaging with – he didn’t actually use those words, but I think you know what I mean – at least I hope you do.
I believe that with any marketing strategy we sometimes lose sight of taking action and actually solving problems or improving our businesses or organizations. Advertising or marketing of any kind cannot maintain relationships or fix products or services that are unsatisfactory.
I look at “Social Media” as the ratchet in a 25-piece socket wrench set. The ratchet is no good without the various and assorted sockets and adapters. In other words, social media campaigns need to be combined with other Internet marketing efforts and then combined with offline marketing tactics to makeup a complete tool set.
Most importantly, “Don’t just engage or listen to your audience, listen and take action.”