So you’ve read the mainstream blogs and even some of the books. You tweet, retweet, comment, like, +1, and share like a demon. You dutifully do everything that experts like me say you should.
Yet, you’re disappointed with the results of your efforts. Maybe even the head of your company wonders aloud why you’re wasting your time. You’re beginning to wonder why:
- Your blog posts get few views and no comments.
- Your tweets are rarely, if ever, retweeted.
- Your Facebook business or product page has so few fans.
What gives? In this post, I want to stress the value of patience with your social media endeavors and suggest that you look at more traditional forms of marketing.
Everyone wants to start a Twitter account and immediately see the results. But, unless you’re Charlie Sheen, don’t expect four million followers in two weeks. Sweating over that blog post? That’s fine, except very few blogs drive much traffic and any comments right off the bat.
But wait a minute. Aren’t you supposed to focus on social media? Isn’t that “where you should be at” right now?
Contrary to what many pundits claim, print and digital media are alive and kicking — in certain areas. That is, to reach their audiences, small businesses should seriously consider employing hybrid marketing.
What is hybrid marketing? In short, it’s a marketing approach that stitches together the best of all worlds, while maximizing flexibility. The premise: Each company brings to the table different needs and challenges. Naive is the company that believes that one size fits all. Today, businesses and consumers today are just too different, too fragmented. This isn’t the world of Mad Men.
Of course, much hinges upon a business’s need, audience, and budget. A hybrid model, if done correctly, can be an extremely cost-effective, integrated, and powerful means of gaining traction and ultimately making sales. Properly coordinated, the right mix of marketing services can help your organization extend its brand.
For instance, what about running a print campaign augmented by social media efforts? What about using Twitter handles in radio and TV ads? Maybe your newsletter can direct people to a physical address for some type of giveaway–like free cookies at the supermarket?
Don’t take it as gospel that you have to maintain a social media presence–much less spend all of your time and money there. Think about it. Let’s say that you’re in the construction business or you manufacture wheelchairs. Is your audience social media-savvy? Are they even aware of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? If not, then don’t be afraid to scale back or even suspend your social media efforts.
Take a bottom-line approach to all types of marketing, including social media. You have to reach your audience wherever they are, not try to force them to pay attention to tools that they may not understand or utilize. Hybrid approaches include tried-and-true methods and should not be discounted just because self-anointed social media experts tell you so.
Take social media with a grain of salt. It’s not the elixir to your business’ problems.
What say you?
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Phil Simon is a recognized technology expert and writer. He is the author of several books including, most recently, The New Small. He can be followed at http://www.philsimonsystems.com/. Phil is not a Pitney Bowes employee and shares his insights on this blog as a paid contributor.