There’s little doubt that technology has changed our lives, the way we are influenced and how we influence others. But for marketing, it’s more than just doing the same old thing using new tools. Social media marketing isn’t your grandmother’s marketing—it’s different from what most of us have traditionally learned about marketing.
Traditional Marketing 101
Most everyone thinks of marketing as the business of promoting and selling products or services.
Marketers commonly refer to a “funnel” to describe the way they attract new prospects and convert them into customers.
What Do We Mean By Funnel?
Traditionally, we’ve prioritized our limited resources and time on trying to find and convert new prospects (the top of the funnel).
Keeping those hard-earned customers (the bottom of the funnel) has often been an afterthought.
That’s because, until recently, there was little we could do to keep existing customers that was drastically different from the tactics used to attract new ones.
Historically, the best you could do after turning a prospect into a customer was to provide a great customer experience and just hope they come back to buy more—and bring their friends with them.
But technology, namely social media and email, has changed the game.
Social Media Marketing — Flip that Funnel
Social Media Marketing is about recognizing that your existing customers are your best assets.
And technology now enables us to influence consumer behaviour both before and after the sale.
With low-cost and easy-to-use tools like social media and email, you no longer have to hope that customers come back and bring their friends with them.
Now you can reach out to your existing customers to remind them to come back, and make word-of-mouth as easy as clicking the share, like, or tweet buttons.
Bottom line: successful businesses understand that marketing does not end with the sale, but rather it begins after the first sale (the bottom of the traditional sales funnel).
The Pros and Cons of Traditional Marketing
Promoting and selling products or services in the real world, is an age old practice. Traditional marketing includes radio ads, magazine and newspaper ads, television ads and print advertising – like billboards, pamphlets, catalogues and sales materials.
- Real world communication. People can touch, feel, hear and interact with this form of marketing. Plus you can’t throw parties or host events to promote a product online like you can in the real world.
- Face to face selling. Unlike social marketing, people have the opportunity to meet their salesman face-to-face. A great salesman can sell a lot of products.
- It’s forced on you. Traditional marketing is usually forced on the viewer, as they come across it in their daily lives. This means that this old school marketing has a very low response rate.
- Lack of community. People don’t share a community with the brand, and as a result, they don’t care about its promotions. Advertisers spend millions trying to reach people that just don’t care enough to act.
The Pros and Cons of Social Marketing
Social marketing is the latest method of buying and selling online. It solves a lot of the problems that traditional advertising has to deal with. That’s why it’s growing at an alarming rate, and fast becoming the preferred form of marketing.
- Much higher conversion ratios. Because all social marketing can be tracked and adjusted, people respond to it more over time. In other words the return on your investment is huge. More people that like you, means more money!
- Community building. Ask any large business person, and they’ll tell you that more than half of their income comes from repeat sales. Social marketing builds communities around brands, which drastically increases repeat sales.
- Social marketing relies on customers being highly interactive on the internet. If a customer doesn’t use the internet often, or at all – you lose them as a client. That’s why a certain balance must be achieved.
Traditional VS Social
In a battle for supremacy, traditional marketing is falling further and further behind. But that doesn’t mean that it’s down and out. Your business still needs real world promotions to succeed. The trick is to spend more on social marketing, now that it’s been proven to be more effective!
Strike a good balance between these two forms. The 80/20 rule can apply here as well. Invest in 80% social marketing, and 20% traditional marketing. Keep things in print though – multimedia like videos, are way more lucrative and effective online.
Infographic: Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing