Social media marketing: a question
This is the first in a series of several blogs exploring strategies to promote high-end marketing communications services to business owners and decision makers in the C Suite. This blog looks at social media marketing. The second in the series will address digital newsletters. The third will focus on bringing value. Here’s a question for social media specialists: Is there a way to create an effective social media marketing campaign that will reach business owners and executives in the C Suite? My company, Worldwide Editing, specializes in providing English writing and editing services to domestic companies and multinationals inn North America. The company’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and executives clarify branding to grow their client base and bottom line. I have essentially taken a viral approach to marketing Worldwide Editing to my target audience – be active in key business organizations, make personal contacts and ask for business referrals. This approach has been successful. We’ve worked with a European nonprofit and a U.S. multinational that each have a reach into 150-plus countries. We’ve worked with a statewide natural gas utility, multinationals in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, two universities of 30,000-plus students, ghost-written a public policy piece for an Atlanta Olympic hero, and conducted video interviews with President Jimmy Carter and Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis for MARTA, Atlanta’s signature transit agency. Now, I want to build on that success with a more targeted marketing campaign. I embrace digital and social media (I initiated a project that won a national award in new media innovation in a former corporate life). I also tweet and update my profile on Linkedin (though probably not enough – something I am trying to correct) to try and establish myself as an SME in business communications. At the same time, I’m skeptical that social media marketing will work for me in promoting my business to the two groups I most want to get in front of: business owners and the C Suite. Here’s why. My experience is that most of the business owners I have encountered are under-capitalized entrepreneurs. Even if they have the time to be active on social media, they tend to be so busy keeping cash-strapped businesses afloat that they don’t have the budget to hire a marketing specialist or to contract out their marketing needs. (Convincing them of the value of effective messaging to enhance their branding and grow their sales and customer base is another issue and the topic of the third blog in this series.) I am equally pessimistic that social media is an effective tool to market a business service to the C Suite. The words of a wealth adviser I have advised about increasing her brand awareness among her high-level target audience come to mind: The people I am trying to reach don’t have time for social media. I’ve been exploring social media marketing options on my own, particularly twitter and Linkedin. The options on twitter were so endless and endlessly confusing I finally gave up and took two aspirin. LinkedIn seemed more straightforward. I even started working on an ad and came up with: Does writing cause you pain? I can take your pain away. I am a veteran editor who clarifies brand messaging for business owners and the C Suite. Writing is a valuable service because it is the face of every business – from websites to internal communications. I’m just not convinced social media marketing will reach my target audience. Am I wrong? If so, why. Who has social media marketing success stories at the decision-making level to share? If there are better marketing options than social media marketing, what are they? Please share your thoughts. I’m guessing I’m not not only one going through this thought process.Your comments will likely bring value not only to me but to many others. And, after all, isn’t that the real goal of social media?