Why social media trumps traditional marketing

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There have been a number of studies on the impact of social media on corporate marketing recently.

A WetPaint study cited bottom line increases of up to 18% over 12 months after social media strategy implementation.  JC Williams reports that 91% of consumers say that peer reviews are their primary guide in buying decisions.  Marketing Sherpa reiterates what we already know – that people trust a friend’s recommendation over an advertisement.

Relationship is really the fundamental basis of the success of social media marketing. It’s the reason that social media marketing will trump traditional marketing every time. Relations form more quickly and easily in social media venues which offer a level of interactivity and two way communication that’s impossible using traditional marketing means. Social Media relationships are formed on the basis of common interests, making it ideal for target marketing.

Of course it’s easy to see the logic of social media when you look at consumer marketing, but many in the business to business arena are skeptical about the viability of social media as a business marketing tool.

I am not.  I’m convinced that social media marketing is a viable and desirable tool in the corporate marketing arsenal.  Why?  If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, you probably already have a good idea:

  • business people are still human and make buying decisions the same way the rest of humanity does – emotionally first and logically second
  • in business, trust is a valuable commodity.  With the economy yo-yo’ing it has become even more important to make wise purchasing decisions that won’t come back to haunt you.  Buying from a trusted advisory source is key
  • social media is significantly less costly than traditional advertising and marketing – and that’s really important when budgets are being trimmed to the bone
  • suitable prospects and existing customers are easily found in social media networks.

But, even if you agree that social media is the vehicle of choice, you may not have much idea as to how to actually set up and implement a measurable and effective strategy.

Social Media marketing isn’t rocket science, it’s relatively simple.  However, if you’re a ‘newbie’ at this game it can suck an unprecedented amount of time.  Does this mean that unless you have someone in your organization to whom you can assign the task on a full time basis that it’s not practical for you?  Not in the least.

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s much more cost effective to outsource the process to someone who specializes in this rapidly developing discipline.  It’s similar to the difference between going to a foreign city where you don’t speak the language and deciding whether to hire a car, or hire an English speaking taxi driver.  You may well get to your destination both ways, but invariably, the taxi driver will get you there quicker and easier.  Outsourcing the process to  someone who has the whole process taped already could save you countless hours of frustration and lost opportunity.

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