Social Media Does Not Live In the Digital World

Think that you can be a successful social media marketer without leaving your home or office? Guess again…

By , Published July 3, 2014

Social Media Does Not Live In the Digital World. image SM Live Digital World HeaderThere are two ways to approach social media marketing.

Approach #1: Roll out of bed in your pajamas, scrape “relevant” content for your client, load it up into HootSuite, eat a Pop Tart for breakfast.

Approach #2: Get up. Get dressed. Go meet with your client. Spend some time on location: in the store, in the client’s offices. Make calls. Talk to the key players. Get the scoop on what’s really happening… on what really differentiates your client from the rest. Go home with this insider information. Compact it into a message. Make that message compelling. Turn the message into a campaign. Make that campaign compelling. Partner with writers, designers, coders, and UX pros to give your campaign a pulse. Make it come alive in creative ways in the channels that actually mean something to your target audience. Do something that’s never been done. Monitor the results. Tweak it. When someone engages, talk back. When it works, do more. When it doesn’t, it’s back to the drawing board. The bottom line: be a part of the real world. Be active and alive. If you’re going to be passive and dull… why even bother to show up?

Social media marketing is not digital.

It’s physical; it’s tangible; it’s knowable and relatable; it’s an expression of the real world that’s already going on and will go on without you. Social media marketing is notabout “content” and “CTAs” and “engagement” – though, yes, those things do matter. It’s about being a digital extension and expression of what’s already going on in the world.

Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: How To Leverage Social Channels For Lead Generation

What would happen if your marketing agency (or business, if you’re a client) moved out of the “digital realm” and approached social media marketing as if it were the big budget, high-concept stuff you might come across on AdWeek? What if you stopped looking at Google News and Twitter for content ideas, but instead made a phone call to pick your client’s brain, or asked that one quiet smart guy in the downstairs cubicle what he thought about the new product line?

So, what does this look like?

Am I in any way advocating a pre-dotcom Luddism? Far from it. Use the tools, learn the platforms, create what hasn’t been done. Rather, I’m advocating for a change in the approach – a new mindset. Here are a few strategic suggestions for experimenting with this approach:

  • Put in time at your client’s office (or storefront). Simply be there. I know, I know… time is money, and you’re busy. But trust me on this: you’ll learn far more spending an hour on-location than you will spending 10 hours observing the brand’s online activity.
  • Secondly, push – and push hard – for open communication between yourself and the client (or vice versa if you’re a client reading this).
  • Third, let your client know that you expect work from them. Yes, they’ve hired you to “do the work for them.” And you will. But, you aren’t hired to do guesswork. Your client should know that you expect them to talk strategy with you and keep you in the loop on what’s coming down the pipeline. Otherwise, you won’t be able to “do the work for them” in an effective manner.

What needs to change in your approach to social media marketing?

Are you living too much in the digital world, and not enough in the physical world? What needs to change? How can you better serve your clients and create a higher quality end product?


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