With all the talk of social media, in particular Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, we can easily forget the other forms of marketing that play an important role in building our business, whether we are a profit or non-profit organization.
In fact, social media on its own is unlikely to build our business - unless it is the place all our customers hang out. For most businesses, that is not the case.
I'm not suggesting you abandon or slack off on your social media efforts. Not at all! It is the new frontier of marketing and almost all businesses can benefit by including it in their marketing strategy. And that's the point: INCLUDING it. Not ignoring all other forms of marketing that can build your business but rather integrating social media into the mix.
Social media introduces us to new ways of communicating with our customers and potential customers. It allows us to not only share with them information that can be helpful, valuable and interesting to them but, as important, it provides a way for them to easily engage with us, if they so choose. But it alone won't do the whole 'marketing' job for most of us.
Without social media we're missing out on a huge opportunity to reach potential new customers and existing customers. At the same time, ignoring other forms of marketing, particularly where we have invested significant thought, time and resources in them, can result in lost momentum. We can lose some of the brand recognition ground we've gained through neglecting other tried and true marketing strategies. Momentum lost is difficult and costly to regain.
So by all means, include social media in your strategy. But in the process don't neglect other traditional forms of marketing that may still be an important part of the marketing mix for your business. Other options may include permission based email marketing, newsletters, e-newsletters, advertising in local newspapers and/or magazines, mass mail, Google AdWords, local radio advertising, etc. In fact, some of these traditional forms of marketing can be significantly more powerful when combined with social media.
The key is not to do it all but to identify the types of marketing strategies that fit your business and target audience, your goals and budget and your time frame. Then invest the resources needed, including time, to make it happen.