My friend Shelly Kramer blogged about a recent ComScore report. (btw follow her on the Twitter she needs more friends)
While it highlights an increase in usage for Social Networks it reinforces the fact you can not really market via social media to any scale. For those that wonder how I arrived at the 12 minutes the report states people now spend 6 hours a month on Social Media 360 minutes divided by 30 days....anyone who reads this blog knows I hate how marketers aggregate numbers to make them look big.
We have blogged that use of Facebook is now under 20 minutes per day per user. We have blogged that most if not all of human communication takes place off of Social Networks in private.
Meanwhile people still spend 4hrs per day watching TV. They still work, eat, play. They still drive around and shop. They still spend hours on the internet. But only 12 minutes on Social is just 0.8% of a day.
So how should a business reach their current customers and find new ones?
First most powerful will be word of mouth. If you have a great product or service at the right price point and give customer support that will be your biggest sales driver. Remember advertising is like shooting with a shotgun. You spray it and hope you hit some folks. But people will talk about your product, service or brand if they have a great experience! And I don't mean on Social Networks! I mean Live! Email! Phone! Etc!
Next is your location, storefront, street sign or if you are on the internet your website and great SEO. Make sure people can see you easily whether when walking, while driving, or searching on the internet.
Third is traditional marketing works! Look at TV and Cable ad rates. Digital ads, yes even Facebook ads which are traditional advertising if you were unaware. Publicity/Public Relations efforts. Even print ads depending on your business, product, service.
Lastly use social in ways that fit your business size. For a small business you can talk to and groom customers to become brand advocates. For a big business you can get them talking about your brand.
You should talk to people with similar businesses, or observe your competition and find out what works for them best. I have a client who wanted to be included in a Best of Their City publication for 2012 and the publication wants them to buy advertising in order to really be supported. So we asked a business that is similar that ran an ad last year and the response was not positive so I advised them to look at other options and weigh where to invest their limited budget.