Have you ever bought an all-in-one machine like a printer/scanner/copier or a washer/dryer combo? My husband and I recently bought a TV/DVD combo for our workout room. I enjoyed watching TV and he enjoyed watching DVD’s while we were on the treadmill. We thought we hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, the DVD player stopped working about a week after we bought it.
We should have known better. These devices exist separately for a reason. When they’re grouped together, it often negatively affects the quality of the individual units.
I believe we should view our online marketing efforts the same way.
Over the past few months, I’ve been encouraging potential clients to establish or enhance their social media presence. Most are eager to see what social media can do to help them communicate with prospects and generate leads.
Some, however, lump social media into a group of other marketing or web-based businesses. Take the “Superpages guy,” for example. A “Superpages guy” is assembled from the “Superpages Factory.” He is a slick-talking sales person who swoops in on unsuspecting business owners promising sugar fairy hits to their website or a top-ranking Google position.
That’s fine if the only goal for a business is directory-listed search engine optimization (SEO). But, SEO is only one slice of the online marketing pie and it doesn’t even touch on social media.
The same goes for certain marketing agencies. I’ve seen agencies try to package services to include the farm: public relations, advertising, direct mail, social media, search engine optimization and even website development. They can offer it all to be your one-stop shop.
I have two problems with this. First, some agencies specialize in more traditional media, but quickly added social media to their list to assure they claimed their market share. There are some agencies that can pull this off, others do not give social media the attention it deserves.
Second, these agencies can be expensive. They charge a lot because they have high overhead. Small businesses can be easy prey because they don’t know any better and they figure the ‘all-in-one’ approach will save them energy, time, and money in the long-run.
My message to businesses: social media is NOT a one-size- fits-all machine. It’s a multi-faceted, goals-based, and highly personal communication tool that works best when you give it proper attention and focus.
We are becoming an increasingly customized world; why settle for a one-size-fits-all service for something as significant as social media?