Larry Brauner

Even today social media remains a mystery to most marketers. In the minds of most retailers and marketing executives, social media consists of teens messaging on Facebook, sharing pics on Flickr, writing in their blogs or tweeting all their doings on Twitter.

Perhaps they read a few news blogs themselves or have a profile on LinkedIn, but they’re still scratching their heads and wondering how any of this could possibly be useful to them in business.

Coming from the conventional marketing world myself and looking back to my first impression of social media, I can appreciate the retailing and B2B marketing establishment’s legitimate skepticism. That’s why I put together my top reasons for using social marketing for you to share with your colleagues and top management.

Let me caution you however, that social marketing requires its own mindset. Marketing strategies that work well with traditional media won’t necessarily be as effective if applied to new media.

These then are my top ten reasons to take social marketing seriously:

  1. Social marketing is a logical extension of the multichannel marketing strategy of diversification. Social media sites can extend a company’s web presence far beyond the limits of its e-commerce, lead generation or information sites.
  2. Social media builds awareness of products and brands by attraction rather than interruption, and by pulling rather than pushing. Consumers enjoy the discovery process and don’t feel annoyed by it.
  3. Social media employs a community and list building paradigm that’s much more comprehensive, natural and intimate than conventional databases and autoresponders.
  4. Social media marketers engage customers in dialog. They talk with the customer rather than at the customer as is generally the case with conventional media. Social media can also facilitate post-sale support and dissemination of valuable product tips to customers.
  5. Social media used properly can build frequency less expensively than conventional media educating and informing the consumer over time.
  6. Social media can help reach target markets that are too difficult or expensive to reach using conventional means.
  7. Reach doesn’t determine cost, so social media can target a narrow vertical market while at the same time casting a wide net. Efficiency doesn’t really matter much in the context of social media reach.
  8. Search engines like social media, and social marketing leverages free high-quality search exposure which is preferable to paying for low-quality pay-per-click or banner advertising.
  9. Social media sites and your e commerce websites are available 24/7 more or less indefinitely. It’s much like having an ad run in every issue of a publication or like having a catalog or sales letter retained until the customer is ready to make a buying decision.
  10. Using social networking sites it is often possible to connect directly with B2B decision makers without interference from protective gatekeepers.

Social marketing is different from other forms of Internet marketing. I write about the unique challenges that social media marketing poses in Top 10 Social Media Challenges.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about me and my social media and web marketing services.

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23 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons for Social Marketing”

  1. Marketing - Blog Archive - Top 10 Reasons for Social Marketing | Online Social Networking on March 27th, 2009 5:37 am

    […] Top 10 Reasons for Social Marketing | Online Social Networking […]

  2. Steve on March 27th, 2009 11:00 am

    Larry, you’ve done it again. Great article! This is really a great article, because it talks about the benefits of social networking, while at the same time educating newcomers as to how to best interact in the social networking world.

  3. Toby Pocock on March 27th, 2009 11:10 am

    Looks like there could be plenty of tips for me to promote our site. We organize social networking weekends in Palma in the Ballearic Islands in Spain. If you or any of your followers can help broaden our network and reach (especially in Europe), I would be pleased to hear from you or them.

    Best regards,
    Toby

  4. DrErica on March 27th, 2009 11:20 am

    I have been enjoying online social and business networking. It provides a quick and easy opportunity to connect with movers and shakers around the world, people who are creating and building and offering something valuable, people that I may never have had a chance to know about without this amazing social media.

  5. Jim Turner on March 27th, 2009 1:16 pm

    Larry… great article.

    Lots of good insights and reasons to do business in the social media sector.

    Jim

  6. Ann Reilly on March 27th, 2009 1:38 pm

    Saw that quote on blogging, like Sartre, in English, not French, before! Oh I know..it was on my blog! Would love to know where you got the inspiration from, truly, for yours. Humph!

  7. Debbie Morgan on March 27th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Hi Larry!

    Thanks for pulling this all together for us. I like the ability social marketing gives me to meet potential customers and talk with them personally about safety and security issues. List building is another great one. I like that I can send out alerts to my “friends” and help them inprove their safety. Great job, Larry!

    Deb

  8. KennethLim.net - Blog Archive - Twitter Today on March 27th, 2009 2:36 pm

    […] Top 10 reasons for social marketing (From: @larrybrauner) […]

  9. Ryan Martin on March 27th, 2009 3:45 pm

    Good call Larry.

    I think the key to marketing in social media is to be real. People don’t want to be sold on things in social media, they want to meet interesting people with great ideas. I think they that are innovative and interesting really do best in marketing on social media sites.

    It also doesn’t hurt to be good looking and have a big following (not speaking from experience).

  10. anisha on March 28th, 2009 10:49 am

    Dear Larry,

    Nice work. Got to know many unforeseen benefits of social marketing which you have enumerated in your article. Now maybe with this article I will be able to share my views with others more elaborately than earlier.

    Thanks,
    Anisha

  11. Larry Brauner on March 29th, 2009 4:57 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate them.

    I want to add a post script here. Social marketing isn’t only for companies.

    If you have a blog and want more subscribers, then social marketing is for you.

    If you’re looking for a new job, a new mate, or a new whatever, then social marketing may very well be for you too.

  12. Joanne Apat on April 7th, 2009 6:04 am

    Great post Larry! Looking forward for your next post! :)

  13. Vinny LaBarbera on July 22nd, 2009 10:20 am

    Fantastic article. This might be one of the best short lists I have ever come across outlining the true benefits of social marketing. Thanks!

  14. Shane Kump on July 22nd, 2009 10:24 am

    Very well written. Excellent outline of the benefits of Social Media in a B2B world. I think we are still in the early stages but the sooner companies start embracing Social Media the farther ahead they will be when it does become more widely accepted.

  15. Larry Brauner on July 22nd, 2009 10:45 am

    Thank you.

    However, one additional point I should have included as part of bullet #8 is that social media also helps build links back to your main site and enhances its off-page search engine optimization.

  16. Larry Brauner on July 27th, 2009 11:50 am

    I recommend two more recent articles which elaborate on the relationship between social media and search engine optimization:

  17. Therese McGee on August 25th, 2009 8:20 pm

    Larry, excellent article and written in a way so that we marketers can share it with non-marketing execs who need to buy in to the social media programs. Some think social media is a “fad” and all of your points drive home all the business reasons why an investment (even on a pilot basis) is necessary.

  18. Larry Brauner on August 25th, 2009 9:05 pm

    Thank you Therese.

    Five months later, I could add some additional points, but seven and 10 seem to be magical blogging numbers.

    In any case, I won’t be surprised if after we bounce back from the recession, much of the resistance to social media marketing will melt away.

  19. Top 10 Reasons for Social Marketing | birdbathBUZZ on August 31st, 2009 8:49 pm

    […] Top 10 Reasons for Social Marketing […]

  20. Morgan on November 17th, 2009 10:18 am

    Great article, Larry.

    Every business and every person, no matter what industry, can benefit from this information. It not only explains what social media is but WHY people need to get plugged in to it. This is where business is headed… Social media and the new rules of marketing aren’t going anywhere.

    Thanks for your thought leadership!

  21. David Wells on January 4th, 2010 2:34 pm

    This is an excellent list of why companies should implement social media into their overall marketing strategy.

    I was stumbling around the internet looking for selling points on social media to help persuade people in the dark about it’s benefits.

    Thanks

  22. DJs Unique Sound and Social Network Management on July 10th, 2010 2:10 pm

    Wonderful article. I will forward this on for others to read. We are a family business that started social networking to promote the new music by Dyru. We quickly saw the benefits and now help other artists, small businesses and entrepreneurs manage their sites so they can also have the benefits without having to spend all their time on the daily upkeep of multiple sites.

  23. Phil @ Philippines Outsourcing on December 2nd, 2010 4:18 am

    Social networking provides a great way for you to stay in touch with people who may have moved away. Normally, people try to stay in touch with friends via phone calls and the occasional letter or e-mail, but busy lives make it difficult to maintain contact. However, social networking is such a regularly used medium that it’s easy to stay in touch with people even when they move away.

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