I read an interesting blog post yesterday. In it, the author talks about why your social media campaigns aren't working. It was a refreshing and candidly frank post. All too often, the answer to generating more demand, more lead generation, is "social media". We need to be on Twitter more. We need more followers. We need to be on Facebook. Arrrghh! If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, or read that, then I'd have a whole lot of dollars. The honest truth is that social media is only one trick in a Marketer's bag. It's not the only trick. And that's where things break down. All too often, companies believe that the secret to dramatically increased demand generation is social media. Let's be honest. It's not.
It is, however, a critical and necessary component.
Why? Because being active in social media - whether it be writing blog posts, contributing to ongoing forum discussions, tweeting, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc - is a great way to get picked up by Google and deemed a worthy contributor, maybe even a thought leader, concerning specific topics and keywords. In turn, that results in greater organic search engine rankings, more pervasive presence online, and greater share of voice and conversation. These result in a substantially higher number of non-solicited, inbound inquiries (aka Leads) to your website. The theory goes that you will then be able to close more business.
Of course, the weakness in that theory is that your website is actually compelling enough, your messaging relevant enough, your content fresh enough, and your sales processes effective enough to actually convert these new leads. This small assumption is why social media is only one trick in developing new business. The fact is you still need all of the traditional tactics, and understanding of sales, to be an effective and successful Marketer. We'll save that for another blog post.
So, with that as the setup, let me ask this: Are you actively committed to social media? Are you consistently contributing? Is your entire organization involved and mandated to also contribute? Is it part of your documented processes and procedures? Are staff incented, compensated, or measured, on their participation?
Let's be honest. The most common response I get to this discussion is that "We simply do not have the time". And that, my friends, speaks to the challenge you face. By saying this, you're effectively saying you don't have time to sell. If I were to say this to your face, you'd probably strongly protest and tell me I don't understand. The reality is that I do.
The sales and marketing process has changed. Inbound Marketing, social media, Google, etc, are all now part of the selling process. The question at the heart of the issue is "Will you change to adapt?"
I'd love to hear your comments. I'm sure some of you will strongly disagree. That's cool. I love a good debate.