Young business people putting their hands together. Stack of hands. Unity and teamwork concept.

Beyond Social Media

Marketing experts offer conference to business owners.

by Jeanne Eury

Businesses large and small have more options than ever to reach their prospects and customers and knowing which ones are best is difficult. I teach marketing classes at Small Business Centers, Chambers of Commerce, and for individuals across the state and the workshops that teach marketing through social media are always the most heavily attended.

Social Media…it seems all of the cool kids are doing it. And businesses receive phone calls constantly from companies assuring them that social media is the only way they can be successful in marketing their businesses.

I am a social/digital marketing professional and while social media is a wonderful and relatively inexpensive way to marketing your business, it is by no means the ONLY way to market it. 

The statistics are compelling. In 2017 Marketing General co-sponsored a survey on American’s social media activity and determined that the average American (from your 15 year old who can’t live without constantly posting to your grandmother who won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole) spends approximately two and a half hours per day on social media platforms. 

Wow…that’s significant. But what are they doing the other twenty one and a half? The OTHER 90% of their time?

Take a minute and consider what prompted you to shop at the last store you visited? How do you decide to try a new restaurant?  What piqued your interest in finding a business coach or trying yoga?  Most likely a combination of things including a recommendation from a friend, reviews on Google, ‘hearing’ about it for years and then reading an article touting the health benefits of yoga from a local studio just after realizing you weren’t as limber as you wanted to be. All things we consider very ‘traditional’ marketing.

Print is enjoying a huge resurgence with 47% of respondents to a survey in 2018 having read a print magazine within the last 30 days and over 70% had read a magazine on a digital device. Magazine and newspaper readership (although newspaper readership has steadily declined) skews considerably more affluent than those who say they don’t read magazines or newspaper regularly. Many Americans are skeptical of information masquerading as news on social media and rightfully so. Print information is considered more than twice as trustworthy as news from social media sites.

Few businesses will benefit from eschewing social media completely but most don’t need to feel pressured to leave selected traditional marketing behind. Every business will benefit from carefully coordinating their traditional marketing, non-social digital marketing (email marketing, an optimized website, for some a YouTube channel), and social media. In fact, by timing your email marketing, a Facebook ad campaign and a print presence, especially in a niche or regional publication, the combined effort will produce results far greater than the sum of their individual campaigns.

Join us April 4, 2019 at the OTHER 21½ Conference in Greenville, NC at Whirligig Stage. The full-day conference will include expert presentations about utilizing broadcast TV and radio, branding and print, email marketing and web optimization, supercharged networking, and community and event marketing. Every business owner will benefit from understanding what marketing options work best for their type of business, how to vet the pitches, and how to coordinate all of the marketing avenues to produce real synergy around your efforts. For more information and to register, visit www.theother21andahalf.com .

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