Friday, July 17, 2009

Can Social Media Do It Alone?

Social media as been proven to be a great marketing tool, but can it be relied upon as a stand alone marketing strategy? Clearly with a question like this, I'm going to have to start with the obligatory "it depends." The size of the company/individual/brand, the scope of their campaign and the target audience are all variables that need to be weighed.

With that said, I think the most common answer is NO. Social media should not be used as a solo marketing strategy. It is best used when integrated into a multi-platform marketing plan. This means incorporating traditional media and advertising, maybe including a mass e-mail push and other common components used by corporate America over the years.

Don't get me wrong, there are certainly examples of social media being successful on its own. One of the most commonly used examples comes from Hewlett Packard and Buzz Corps:
  • In early 2008 HP launched a new laptop they dubbed 'The Dragon'
  • HP employed traditional advertising methods initially
  • Sales fell flat
  • With Buzz Corps, they created a competition administered through 31 specially identified techie blogs
  • Sales of the Dragon subsequently increase 84%
  • experience a traffic increase of 14%
  • Google searches for "31 Days of the Dragon" exceeded 380,000
  • Estimated reach/impressions from the campaign approached 49 million
  • Check here for more
Though these success stories do exists, they are often the exception to the norm. Even companies built around social media like Zappos have a major traditional media and advertising component to their marketing strategy.

Even though there are 200 million plus people on Facebook, over 100 million blogs and Twitter is growing at an amazingly rapid rate, a large segment of the population still visits social media sites in light doses if at all. In order to truly reach the bulk of your target audience, you should actively market on as many platforms as make sense for you particular campaign.

Don't rely on social media to be your lighting in a bottle.


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Who? Why?

Social media often becomes a rat race. Who has the newest technology? Who has the most friends or followers? This blog is designed to slow it down a little and remind people that at its core, social media is about relationships and conversations.

Jake Rosen
Managing Supervisor, Fleishman-Hillard

The content on this site reflects my own opinions and not necessarily those of my employer.


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