Social Media: Icing Vs. Cake

by Mark Brimm on September 9, 2011

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Are you serving up mere icing to your audience or the full marketing cake?

Most website owners, one-man businesses entrepreneurs and too many so-called marketing manager’s websites today are separating the icing of social media from the cake of their marketing strategy. When asked if there is following a cookie-cutter approach to their own online marketing, most of these managers would immediately say no and then after thinking for 60 seconds would at least reply to themselves in private, “…wait a minute… yes I have.”

The reason most websites and most web businesses–just like most businesses–fail is not because they aren’t using strategy. It’s because they’re using an idea about general best practices as the totality of their social media marketing plan. Social media isn’t an icing you put on any cake. The icing should befit the cake and serve a highly integral function or else it isn’t anything more than excess.

If you want to reach your target audience, you’ll have to address your target audience. We may not like the word “target” in today’s atmosphere of social media sharing and bookmarking, but let’s be frank: the new has worn off of social media and to me that just means for opportunity to get past the hype. We have not escaped the fundamental principles of marketing in marketing. Social media didn’t change marketing, because it’s not geared to do that.

When a visitor comes on your site, do they see what they were interested in when they found you in search results or are they taken to your home page and expected to go on a big hunting expedition?

The same is true of other ways of finding your content. If people are finding you through socially shared content sharing, do you have a way in place to gauge with what they’re interested and put them in the right spot on your website? It may sound far-fetched to a lot of web marketers not familiar with referrer strings, out there, but it’s really not new technology and many bigger companies are doing it. You should try and find ways to do this now before your competitors do.

Is your marketing cake icing being served as a separate dish? If so, you’re missing the point of social media’s great potential for promoting your message.

 

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