Marketing mistake #13: Social media is the answer

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The mistake:

Believing all the buzz about social media means it’s the right choice for your marketing investment

Fact:

While social media and its rapid growth is getting a lot of press, it is not the be-all and end-all answer for marketing. It’s a fact social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, and use among internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled. But that still means only 42% of 50 and older internet users are accessing social media. (Not everyone, just internet users.) By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 is at 86%.

And keep in mind, it’s called “social” … not “business” media.

So the first thing to consider—let’s hear it again—who is your target audience? The next thing to consider—what is your audience’s primary source of information about your category, your company, your products and services? Where do they interact with you to request information or make a purchase decision? And last—don’t even consider social media until you’ve addressed how the brand-building, communication-inspiring, lead-capturing ability of your website measures up.

Social media is rapidly becoming another communication tool our society uses regularly. And it may be appropriate to support other marketing, and the right fit for some categories of businesses that rely on referrals or “social” communication, but it is not the definitive answer or the best “new” way to build your marketing program. You must first address the scope of your brand, the profile of your primary audiences and how people find out about your products and services.

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