How To Make Your Clients Use Social Media

Social media iconsThe following is a conversation I find myself having with people in the marketing industry more and more frequently:

Other Marketing Industry Person: “So what do you do at ADwërks?”

Me: “My main focus is in copywriting and I also handle a good portion of our social media work, both internally and for clients.”

Other Marketing Industry Person: “So you do social media stuff? Ok, here’s a question: How do you get your clients to use social media? How do you convince them that they need it more than they need other forms of marketing?”

Me: “We don’t.”

Other Marketing Industry Person: *Blank stare*

Now, in case you’re also wearing a blank stare right now as you look at your screen, let me clarify. At ADwërks, we believe—and can support with research when asked—that social media, in its countless formats and functions, is NOT for every client. At least not entirely.

Because here’s the bottom line: No matter how many times your nephew tells you “evvverbody’s using Twitter,” no matter what your competitor is doing on Facebook and no matter how many times you see something about Foursquare check-ins at the restaurants you visit, signing up for every social media service MIGHT NOT be the best thing for your business.

If you’re a small B2B business selling office furniture and your Twitter stream is most likely going to be a bunch of links telling people to buy your desks and chairs, then all you’re going to do is offend people by being spammy. And the pro-social media crowd might say, “Yeah, but you can still offer customer service through Facebook and Twitter,” which is true. But if you run a small business with 5-10 employees, none of whom have the time it takes to properly invest in a social media presence, then setting up a Twitter account won’t do you a ton of good in the first place. At least not for now.

You’d be better off focusing on the best marketing methods you can utilize based on your budget, whether those methods are “traditional” (duh duh duhhhh) media methods or “new” media methods.

The truth is, traditional doesn’t mean old. When done well, with creativity and a focused, targeted approach, traditional advertising has the ability to make a bigger impact on your customers than a hollow Twitter stream or a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since November of 2009.

So how do we “get” our clients to use social media? We don’t. We “get” our clients to use the BEST media they can use to achieve the best results they can achieve. Sometimes it’s social media, sometimes it’s traditional media like a TV spot and a sign on the back of a city bus.

But most of the time, it’s finding the best combination of both traditional and new media that helps our clients succeed.

-Mike B.

What’s your take on social media? Do you agree with Mike’s thoughts? Think he’s totally off-base? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by Sean MacEntee. Thanks Sean!

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