Is Social Media Marketing Really Dead?
Over the past few months, the web design and development world has been talking about social media marketing (Facebook and Twitter marketing in particular) and whether it’s really worth your time. There’s been discussion of the abysmal results often received from social media marketing and advice that marketers should focus their efforts elsewhere, such as on building and maintaining a strong email list. One article concluded with this advice: Don't tweet. Don't waste your time on Facebook. Email still works. Sounds great.
We all want to make sure we’re getting the best results from our marketing efforts and I wanted to weigh in on this discussion, based on what I’ve seen with my clients over the past year.
Facebook, Twitter and Email Marketing
For most of my clients, it’s true that organic Facebook marketing (i.e., building a Facebook following and reaching those followers by posting on your Facebook page) hasn’t helped much. I did have one client who used organic Facebook marketing successfully this past year. They had a large general Facebook following and posts on their page did result in website traffic and conversions. They also invested heavily in creating high-quality content, which has always been important but now even more so with the ever increasing noise and organic throttling on social media channels.
Paid Facebook ads have been effective for many of my clients and I expect that this trend will continue. I predict that social media marketing will continue to move toward a “pay to play” model, so if you have money to spend, you’re likely to keep benefitting from advertising in this venue.
Email marketing has been one of the best means of marketing for all of my clients. So as the “email still works” advice mentions above, spending time building your email list and marketing in this way will be time well spent for nearly everyone.
Your Situation is Unique
Determining an effective marketing strategy is going to depend a lot on the specifics of your situation: who you are, who your audience is and what actions you want your users to take. Discussions and trends in the marketing field can help point you in the right direction, but ultimately your marketing strategy will need to be tweaked and refined so that it meets your specific needs.
Trust What the Data is Telling You
And before making any speedy decisions, for example, to completely remove Facebook and Twitter from your marketing efforts and put all of your energy into email marketing, I’d highly recommend checking whether your Analytics data supports your decision. When it comes to tracking results, Analytics data will be your best friend. If you already have an active presence on Facebook and Twitter, check your Analytics data to see if it’s resulting in website traffic and conversions. If it’s not and it hasn’t been for a period of time, it’s probably time to focus your efforts elsewhere.
By understanding your unique situation and trusting what the data is saying, you’ll be ready to utilize information about the latest marketing trends to experiment and find a marketing strategy that will truly achieve the results you’re looking for.