Rethinking Marketing: What exactly are you on social media for?

Al-ameen Abolare

Lemme guess… after you had your business idea and came up with a business name, the next thing you did was to create social media pages for your business.

Since the explosion of the social network from the room of a soon-to-be dropout, there has been exponential growth in the number of people that now trust and use social media platforms.

The numbers are clear: about half of the entire world (3.2 billion people) are on social media. But while we celebrate the digital network and the ease of connecting and doing business online, we also need to step back a little.

When something becomes a norm, it loses its significance. This is the major reason, by the way, why our education system is in turmoil.

Social media is also gradually going down the same path. Many businesses and personal brands are jumping on the social media train without significant intention and plan of action.

Why are we even on social media in the first place? What’s the significance? Are we joining because “that’s what every business in the 21st century must do”? Or because we have a strategic objective for it?

Social media becoming popular is a great thing. Companies jumping on the train without clear intentions is a very bad thing.

Now that you are on the social media train already, let’s take some time to re-examine the significance and the benefits we can get from the platforms.

Before social media…

Try to think about this: how did companies market their products and services before the advent of social media?

It’s becoming harder for us to think about a world without social media. But there was a time like that when there was no Facebook Ads that will help you go viral online.

So, how did businesses survive? Well, they derived strategies from the fundamental principles of marketing. These principles will always be true regardless of the innovation that comes.

The fundamental principles can be grouped into two: external and internal. The external principles involve the rational, logical parts of a customer (analysing price, product, etc). The internal principles are principles based on the core human drives (drive to acquire, drive to bond, drive to feel, drive to defend/protect, drive to learn).

These two aspects serve as the basis for most of the marketing techniques that have been used since man first touched the earth.

For example, we compare the price of our product to another to convince the customer to buy. Also, a marketer may present a product or service in a way that makes the customer feel like they need it to fit into the society (everyone is using XYZ. What are you still waiting for?).

These are just simple ways in which the fundamental principles can be applied.

Of course, marketing before the advent of social media was not very easy. It cost too much that new businesses would die because of the money needed for marketing.

Today, it’s much better, simpler, and cheaper. But we seem to have forgotten the principles.

The companies that win in this overcrowded world of social media are those that craft their marketing strategies using the fundamental principles.

What to do?

Most of us are guilty of this. We often just follow the social trend and do what most people are doing without much thought.

To redefine your social media presence, you need to do a handful of things:

1. Never prioritize social media if your customers do not prioritize it

Your business decisions shouldn’t just be influenced by some teenager on Instagram who claims to be an “influencer,” telling you to jump on IG.

Your business decisions should be informed by your … make a guess … CUSTOMERS.

Your customers are the only reason you are in business in the first place. In this case, they are the alpha and omega.

So, if your customers do not prioritize social media interactions, do not make it your priority.

Some market segments prefer email marketing; some prefer house-to-house physical marketing; some others will only buy from you on the phone.

The best thing you can do is to pay attention to your customers. Once you know their priority, make it yours too.

2. Set clear goals

Remember the statement about norms losing their significance? It’s often because there are no clear goals for those actions.

Let’s use school as an example again. Because going to school has become a norm, we all just do it because “it’s the normal thing to do.” You would barely find someone who goes to school with a clear goal in mind.

The same thing applies to social media. When you jump on the train without clear goals, you will soon jump off.

Why do you want to be on social media? To meet with customers online? To build your brand image? To build a community of trusted customers? To make more sales? Be very of your goals.

3. Craft a strategy

“No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

After you’ve set your goals, you must then create a plan.

Most people do not create strategies because they believe “it won’t work that way.” Of course, it won’t!

The point of a plan is not to insure what will happen in the future. The point of a plan is to clarify your path to the future.

When you create a strategy, you are creating a plan of action that will guide your presence on social media. With a clear strategy, you are less likely to falter.

4. Keep your goals in mind and execute.

Never lose sight of your goals. When you hit one of your social media marketing goals, set another goal.

The entire point behind your presence on social media is to achieve your goals through strategic execution.

Check on your goals, measure your progress, and keep executing your strategy.

One more time…

When something becomes a norm, it gradually loses its significance.

Majority of marketers have forgotten the significance of social media, but you can tap into that opportunity to grow your business.

Remember, don’t just post because everyone is posting things. Pay attention to your market and let them serve as your compass.


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