It’s true, social media is the marketing darling of the moment. But let’s remember four facts:
- By nature, the web has always been social.
- Online marketing has been around as long as the internet has been public.
- There is always more than one solution to a problem.
- When all you have is a hammer (social media), everything is a nail (social media programming).
It’s essential to remember that what clients want is to win. But in a game whose rules are only limited by the imagination, it can be difficult to define what winning is. And with social media taking the spotlight, it might be easy to see how that is the solution to a marketing problem.
Yes, it’s also true that social media is changing how we interact with each other, and how businesses interact with its stakeholders (be they customers, stock holders, vendors, etc.). That doesn’t mean every marketing challenge has a social solution. Instead, social media may be a single tactic in an array of tactics meant to work together.
And, lastly, it’s quite common for businesses to believe they need to be on Facebook and Twitter in order to do social media. Smart consultants would argue that’s putting the cart before the horse. Remember, blogs can be social, too (remember when they were the hottest thing several years back?). Videos are clearly social vehicles. Bookmarking, like blogs, have been eclipsed by social networks, they are still social, and when combined with blogging can be powerful traffic drivers.
The key, of course, is to understand how these tools and tactics work together, and to apply that knowledge creatively. That will ultimately net the biggest benefit to the client.