Social Media is Not a Strategy!

Our friends at Software Advice, a company that reviews and compares social CRM tools, recently conducted a report on the use of social media in their Social Media Content Optimization Survey, which shows that while many organizations are using social media, overall it is still being used tactically, and in isolation.

According to the study, 84% stated they post on at least three social media networks with 70% saying they posted at least once per day.  The study did not ask how these companies were measuring their success, but given that 65% said it was either somewhat difficult or extremely difficult to “optimize” their social content, I would guess that measurement is proving the same.

What I found most surprising about the study was the “Goals Achieved Through Social Content” The top two goals of those using social media were to gain followers and build brand recognition.  However, less than 10% are using social media in their Demand Generation efforts.

software advice g 1Why are organizations not using social media in a more sophisticated fashion?  I believe the reason is that they are using social media quite tactically and not as one channel in an otherwise sophisticated, strategic, perpetual Demand Generation Program.

While in a meeting with a client recently, I was asked what they should consider as they look to formulate their social media strategy?  I responded by asking them why they would look to formulate a strategy around a tactic.  This led to a longer conversation about that while social media is valuable (if that is one of the places your target audience consumes content), it is a tactic – just like email, direct mail, websites, webinars, etc.   And trying to execute Demand Generation tactically is one of the issues that continues to plague marketers and perhaps is the greatest obstacle to success in B2B organizations.

When looking to build out Demand Generation, too many companies begin with the tactic in mind and forget about focusing on the best way to reach their Buyer. If it’s social media, then be there. If not, use your other channels to keep engagement high.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo is CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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