Selling social media’s importance

If you are, like me, a social media professional, or even just an averagely clued up website owner looking for ways to exploit your online presence then you should be familiar with blog posts entitled something like

  • “8 ways to max your Facebook page!”
  • “Five top secrets for twitter success.”
  • “10 great tips for tagging”
  • “The 3 step plan to blog heaven!”

….and so on and so on.

In this post it isn’t my intention to deride the evangelism of some social media posts. It is my intention however to suggest that most fail to address, even obliquely, one important issue in the social media marketing world…

How do we convince business people not simply that social media marketing has potential but that it is something they can and should implement?

I think there are two important tasks to be tackled head on. (I’ll resist the temptation to call it my ‘2 step plan to fully establishing the new social media marketing paradigm”)


Business owners should be made aware of where they its possible to reassign energy from traditional marketing to social media marketing.

I have heard many social media commentators say (myself included) that social media does not replace traditional marketing. It is a supplement to it. I take it back, not least because if that’s true then it has worrying implications for a small business owner. If social media marketing is a supplement to traditional marketing then that would imply a net increase in work required. A small business owner working 16 hours a day isn’t going to warm to extra work.

The truth is that introducing social media marketing is part of a process of evolution. As the marketing beast adapts to changes with new tools it can afford to set aside old tools: become more effective without additional time working. For example the business owner may go…

  • from brochure design and production to blogging (no more printing costs, no more negotiations with distributors)
  • from mailshots to twitter
  • from clipboard research to Facebook group discussions


Businesses want relevant case studies – proof that entities like them have benefited  from blogging, Facebooking, Twittering and all the rest

There are too many social media commentators waxing lyrical on the social media success of household brand names. These brands, like Johnson and Johnson, Apple or General motors are poor examples of social media success.

Huge companies have the money and resources to heave themselves into the social media foreground through brute strength. They get there through might but not through the nuanced, low cost subtle strategies available to small business looking to make a name for themselves. (If they don’t get there through might, how can you tell?)

The ‘success’ of these brand names to exploit social media will not be particularly instructive for small businesses. Small businesses want to see how social media has helped other businesses of a similar size, or, even better, other businesses of a similar size and nature.

Future posts on this blog will address

  • Advice on and examples of evolving marketing strategies – transferring energies from traditional to social media marketing (see categories: Traditional to social media marketing ideas )
  • proof – case studies relevant to small to medium size companies (see category:  success stories )

About jonhartl

Jon Hartley is a former manager in international online and traditional publishing. He has over 20 years experience in marketing, training, editing, copywriting and translation.Jon Hartley Internet Marketing is a collective of professionals expert in all aspects of internet including design and IT

One Comment

  1. Very informative, Jon. Looking forward to seeing the success stories.

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