Where Does SMM Fit In A Marketing Strategy?

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Throughout this summer, multiple marketers I follow have been having issues with organic reaches when it comes to their Facebook pages, and as a manager of some pages myself, I’ve also noticed a decline in organic reaches depending on the subject and audience base. The question being raised by many is whether we’re jumping the gun on social media marketing, and maybe we should place some more realistic expectations on this modern marketing and advertising platform. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute, where does SMM fit in a marketing strategy, and should it be in the driver’s seat, riding shotgun, or should be in the backseat with the occasional question “are we there yet”?

To put it bluntly, social media marketing is great for brand awareness as it can promote products, and the users behind the social media platforms can post important information, pictures, and any other content that is relevant to the audience in which they’re marketing to. However, is it converting into sales? For some businesses social media is indirectly making them rich, but for others, there is a need for face-to-face marketing, a website, and maybe even YouTube videos to capture potential customers’ attention. Depending on the industry, all social media is a reminder that you didn’t forget your kids at the last rest stop because you still hear their voices, but what they’re saying may not be relevant to those in front seats as they’ve already heard the same stories multiple times.

There are limits to what social media can do for businesses and there has to be other elements tied together to help social media marketing reach it’s full potential. When you follow your favorite store, product, or sports team, what do these accounts usually post? Pictures are always the first to come to mind, but more importantly, they’re posting links from websites, blogs, and online stores. All social media platforms really are is an extended arm that reaches customers where they chat with friends and occasionally search for something such as a product they want, but usually don’t buy in that very instant.

Websites and email marketing are still the best ways to convert sales, and social media is what keeps current customers up to date on products or news concerning the company that is operating the fan pages and social media accounts. Don’t get me wrong, SMM is still a great marketing and advertising tool, but it shouldn’t be the center of a market strategy for small or larger businesses, and be more of a brand awareness technique that gets potential customers interested in finding out more about the product and company.

At the end of the day, consumers are still buying the same way they did 10 years ago, whether that be shopping at brick and mortar stores or online. To say that customers shop on social media right now, we’d be lying to ourselves. Until people start buying exclusively on social media, SEO and other forms of internet and email marketing will continue being the conventional route to driving customers to businesses’ brick and mortar and online stores. For the time being, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms will have to wait because the only way shopping has been revolutionized is through Amazon and eBay. Social media’s day may come, but it’s not right now.

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