What A Client’s Question Made Me Realize
Recently I was submitting a job proposal and the client asked a specific question, “What is the purpose of social media marketing?”
At first, I hesitated, but don’t ever let the question shape your response! My client will look at me as the expert on the topic, so I want to give an answer that shows I’m confident in my understanding of social media marketing.
I told the client there are actually two main and separate purposes of social media marketing that every company needs to keep in mind.
One purpose is creating and maintaining your company image and brand, through direct marketing to your audience. This increases visibility and customer recognition which ultimately leads to an increase in sales.
The second purpose is indirect marketing to your audience; you want to do things that increase public perception of your company’s image. This could be done by interacting with your audience to resolve customer issues or any negative feedback, or by creating superior customer service responses. This could even be done by doing something positive in the community that isn’t associated with the company’s main operations.
The first purpose the customer knows you’re marketing to them directly, the second purpose you are indirectly trying to influence the customer and nudge them towards your brand.
You have to use both of the types if you want to maximize your brand. I always look at the negative social media situations that companies create for themselves; take the recent bad press of United Airlines for example. If a company just comes out and flat out apologizes to all its customers sincerely, it will minimize the negative press and maintain its brand’s good image in the mind of its customers. That is a part of marketing.
When marketing, don’t lose track of the big picture, you are trying to impress your customers and bring them to your product or service! Always use both types of marketing and keep your customers happy!
TL;DR: 2 purposes of marketing, 1) normal, direct marketing 2) indirect marketing by minimizing negativity publicity and apologizing to unhappy customers, or with unrelated community services