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20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adding Social Media to Your Marketing

by Drew McLellan  |  
November 27, 2012

A lot of social media “experts” out there will tell you that every single organization on the globe should be participating in social media. They will point to the cool Facebook fan pages they’ve made or the funny videos their clients have on YouTube then say, “See, you can do this, too.”

They’re right.  You can. The question is:  Should you?

Whether to engage in social media marketing depends on whether it can...

  1. Save you money.

  2. Make you money.

If social media isn’t going to accomplish one of those two goals, then you have no business engaging in it. Why? Because participating in social media is expensive. I know everyone talks about how cheap it is … but they are not thinking like business owners. They’re thinking like people who only know how to open a YouTube channel account or sign you up on Twitter. Sure, creating an account on many of the social media tools and networks is free. But that’s where free ends.

To integrate social media into the rest of your marketing (which is an absolute if you want to consider social media a business tool), you need to use some resources. Social media requires care and feeding. It requires brand integration. And it requires a well-conceived strategy. All that costs time and money.

Don’t misunderstand. I believe in the power and reach of social media. (Most of our agency’s clients are using social media tools as part of their overall marketing strategy!) But I am not bullish on the belief du jour that everyone must do it and that it's free.  Neither is true.

Here are 20 questions to ask yourself as you consider melding social media into your existing marketing strategy.

How Will Adding Social Media to Our Marketing Save Us Money?

  1. Will it allow us to stop doing something we’re currently doing?

  2. Will it allow us to extend or expand something we are currently doing?

  3. Will it lower our customer acquisition costs?

  4. Will it connect us to existing customers in an efficient way?

  5. Will we be able to use social media to create a community specifically for our customers?

  6. Will it be easier for our customers to rave about us or to create positive word of mouth?

  7. Do we look behind the times to our customers if we aren’t there?

  8. Will it introduce us to new potential customers at a low lead-generation cost?

  9. Will it make us more findable (either within the social network or on search engines)?

  10. Will it impact our search engine results (so we don’t have to buy results)?

How Will Melding Social Media to Our Marketing Strategy Make Us Money?

  1. Will it shorten our sales cycle?

  2. Will it create credibility and trust faster among prospects?

  3. Can we establish ourselves as the expert?

  4. Will it shorten customer service response time?

  5. Will it create a sense of accessibility for our customers?

  6. Will it increase trial of our product or service?

  7. Will it allow us to connect with more prospects at once?

  8. Will it increase repeat buying?

  9. Will it increase upsells?

  10. Can we collect or use testimonials?

If the answers to those questions indicates that social media would be a smart investment for your company to make, then you should be there.  And now you will enter into it knowing about your return on that investment.

Now we’re talking smart marketing---not marketing hype.
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Drew McLellan's a 25+ year marketing agency veteran who lives for creating "a ha" moments for his clients, clients' customers, peers and audiences across the land.

Drew writes at his own blog, Drew’s Marketing Minute and several other hot spots. He authored 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, co-edited the Age of Conversation series of books with Gavin Heaton, and he launched his own firm McLellan Marketing Group in 1995.

LinkedIn: Drew McLellan

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  • by Steve BG Tue Nov 27, 2012 via blog

    These are really good points, but there is a key one missing that may appear obvious - even if Social Media does tick a lot of boxes for your company, can you ensure that you can use it well whilst remaining legally and regulatory compliant? I've worked in Finance and Healthcare sectors and even though Social Media could be of great value, the regulatory aspects mean it is almost impossible to do properly - waiting 24-48 hours (minimum) for a response to a Tweet while it is signed off defeats the point of using these channels.

  • by Grahame Tue Nov 27, 2012 via blog

    Whether to engage in social media marketing depends on whether it WILL...

  • by Steve Byrne Tue Nov 27, 2012 via blog

    Excellent post, thanks.

  • by SDGSteve Wed Nov 28, 2012 via blog

    Interesting points that I find myself really ambivalent over, on the one hand I agree with you entirely, but a certain voice keeps nagging... I think everyone should stake a claim in social networks even if they don't exploit it initially, business opportunities are continually migrating more and more to the web, the comp I work for focuses on small businesses, five years ago we were still having to really sell the idea of having a website to companies because they were still using Yellow Pages as their number 1 marketing location and didn't feel they needed to be online, 5 years later that's all but dead and it's just as well they bought those websites and have them well established and optimised now. It can take so long to build a good audience on FB and T that I think the earlier you start the better, even if you just spend 10 minutes a week on there gradually building followers.

  • by CJ @ StrategicMarketingGuy Wed Dec 5, 2012 via blog

    The question we always get from our clients at the agency is, "how do we determine the ROI?"

    We're a direct response agency, so I always tell them something like this:

    Don't get confused with how much a Twitter follower or Facebook Like is worth. There are 5 million ways to estimate that.

    The value gained in a lead generation program can be estimated by studying the qualified leads generated. Most businesses know the cost of a lead of a specific quality for their business. Multiply that cost by the amount of leads generated by the social program and you can estimate the value gained by the investment.

    For example, social media commonly generates level one leads, that is, individuals who have taken proactive steps that demonstrate interest (e.g. registering for a white paper). If you’re a B-to-B company, these leads would typically cost you $25-$200, according to SiriusDecisions. If you generate 1,000 leads through your social media program, the value gained by your investment would be $25,000-$200,0000.

    Now that you know the value of the gained, you can calculate the ROI.

    Not trying to hijack your article :) Thought this was helpful and relevant.


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