Because people are raving about the value of this group, we interviewed “Breakfast Blogging Club” creator, Cheryl Liquori, about her perspective and experience with Social Media in terms of a business’ overall marketing.
She shares some valuable insight below, just as we expected!
A few highlights:
“ Social Media alone shouldn’t be the sole marketing channel for a business. Even if a business exists only online . . .”
“A presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. doesn’t preclude a business owner from having solid marketing basics already in place – consistent communication to qualified prospects in the right way, in the right place and at the right time. . . ”
“Just because you post it, publish it, or promote it, doesn’t mean “they will come.” Business owners still need to communicate their value, effectively engage with prospects, follow up accordingly, and ask for the sale. . . ”
Allison: Do you think social media (sm) fulfills the role of all marketing for a biz?
Cheryl: Social Media alone shouldn’t be the sole marketing channel for a business. Even if a business exists only online, they can still use Pay-Per-Click, banner ads, email marketing, and affiliates, to name a few. For service and brick-&-mortar businesses, there’s opportunity for social media to enhance existing marketing strategies, such as direct mail (nope, not dead yet!), in-person networking, public speaking, etc.
Allison: Do you find businesses getting all their income from Social Media (SM)? If so, what types?
Cheryl: I’m not aware of any business who can attribute ALL of their income to leads generated from their social media efforts. It can be very challenging to even measure this.
Allison:Do you think, as I do, that other marketing tactics are an equally critical part of the mix, for most businesses: like networking- meeting people who need your product (or service), educating your prospective market through your website, enews, blogs or other regular and frequent communications, developing a sales process, publicity, outreach/developing target markets, SEO and traffic building techniques, etc.?
Cheryl: I think it’s important to understand your own sales process as well as the sales mentality of your target audience. A presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. doesn’t preclude a business owner from having solid marketing basics already in place – consistent communication to qualified prospects in the right way, in the right place and at the right time.
Allison: In your opinion, what is the latest, greatest must-have in social media for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or similar?
Cheryl: High local search rankings, adapting to mobile marketing needs, and brick & mortar establishments need to check into services like Groupon that offer members daily deals and discounts.
[note from Allison: I agree. But, I’ve had clients who paid Groupon -before working with me – and got zero response, so best to ask a marketing advisor/consultant before tackling these strategies!]
Allison: Do you (or your clients) get all their business from social media?I think it’s important for people to get a realistic sense of this, not just the ‘so-called-overnight-successes they read about in the media.
Cheryl: Most of my clients use a combination of social media, in-person networking, conducting workshops, public speaking and old-fashioned phone calling to attract leads and get sales.
Allison: Do you (or your clients) get plenty of business from social media? If so, what tactics seem to work best?
Cheryl: Over the past 2 years, 10-15% of my workshops participants have come from Facebook, LinkedIn, MeetUp and other online event posting services. Other colleagues I know are generating some traffic to their website from their social media efforts, but the conversion percentages are the same as old media advertising or direct mail, around 4 – 8%. The big difference is in the the initial marketing investment, which is much less. So returns look higher.
Allison: What else is important for people to really understand about social media’s role in marketing?
Cheryl: Just because you post it, publish it, or promote it, doesn’t mean “they will come.” Business owners still need to communicate their value, effectively engage with prospects, follow up accordingly, and ask for the sale. In addition, business owners need to let go of the perception that social media is free. Effective engagement in a social media strategy has costs – in the form of personnel, time, and company resources. It should be treated like any other marketing strategy and be allocated an appropriate budget!
Cheryl Liquori, Content Marketing Strategy. 510-499-6028