Remember the old children’s story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’? Ms. G. breaks into the bears’ home and tastes their porridge and tries out their chairs and their beds – she finds one too hard, one too soft and one just right; leaving a trail of broken furniture in her wake. All traditional marketing activities, including print, radio, TV and billboard, were analyzed on the ‘Goldilocks Scale’ – they were either just right, meaning they effectively sold the product or service or they were not effective and were stopped. The Goldilocks Effect of a complete advertising success or a complete advertising failure has kept the world of marketing alive and kicking since the 1800s.
Online marketing activities have allowed us to almost obliterate the Goldilocks Effect, as there no longer needs to be a “too hot” or “too cold” reaction to a campaign, only a “just right” reaction. For example, a Facebook campaign can be finely tuned to a very specific target market. We can run several simultaneous campaigns employing differing emotional keywords, messaging and graphics to entirely dissimilar target markets. In essence, utilizing social media’s targeting tools, we can talk to Ms. P, Mr. S, DR. R and Prof. T – each in their own language and nuances. We can then get a nearly real-time analysis of the campaign via Facebook Insights; including page views, page Likes, reach and so much more.
Social media's five points to keep in mind
Marketing campaigns via social media are a great way for small businesses on a small budget to 'get their message out there', but always keep in mind these five points:
1) It’s just technology This is just technology, when we reach out and touch someone with a post – we must not confuse it with real communications. To develop a provider-client bond – you must communicate with the person on a true people level.
2) People Lie You may target a certain audience for a Facebook campaign, but Facebook does not police or enforce how people wish to categorize themselves on their Facebook pages. You can create a marketing campaign targeted with surgical precision to people of a specific social / economic /educational / location status. But your results may be checkered at best, as you cannot be 100% sure you are truly hitting the target market you require and have, in many cases, paid for via Facebook ads.
3) People are silent There is a silent "underground" of people on Facebook who avidly read your posts, read your blogs and follow you on Facebook, but they will never Like or Share your posts. You may not see them in any analytics. I and many of my clients have found out about this ‘underground’ of the silent Facebook followers that just want to enjoy viewing without participating. Keep in mind that your next potential client could be from this silent "underground".
4) Keep clear of 'knee jerk' reactions Some campaigns are truly bad or ineffective and they deserve to die a quiet death, while others may never show those initial big numbers, but like a 'slow clap', you may find a post's reach grow in views even days after you post. This means that you should pay attention to your numbers, but also pay attention to older posts and watch for the ‘slow clap’.
5) The internet is forever While in the 'real' world only diamonds are forever and newspapers and magazine articles get old, yellow and disintegrate and are eventually thrown away, internet content lives forever. I’ll take it one step further: every image you post and every word you write gets categorized somewhere in the internet ether. Clients and potential clients can find you via blogs and/or images you posted years before. This content immortality is a double-edged sword – you don't want to be embarrassed by bad content - so make every post and blog business-worthy.
Enjoy social media and what it can do for your business, but just remember: Goldilocks did not live happily ever after with the bears – she was discovered by the bears and ran right out of their house and disappeared back into the forest. Don’t let your business disappear in the internet forest - find all the social media tools that are just right for you and make them your own.
Want to know more about building and branding your small business? Contact me today. Make today the day you and your business work together.
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