22 Nov

Marketing Mix | Facebook is the Salt

Ask any chef: you cannot cook a successful meal without salt. Salt is versatile, powerful, and ubiquitous. Similarly, a marketer cannot build a successful social media campaign without Facebook. However, channeling all marketing dollars through Facebook is sure to leave a briny taste in your customer’s mouth.

A chef is faced with a huge number of ingredients – and a near-unlimited number of ways to combine and prepare those ingredients. For a beginner, these variables are overwhelming. However, the flexibility it affords an experienced chef allows them to craft a dish ideally suited to their customer.

Similarly, a seasoned marketer can successfully maneuver tools and techniques to directly reach the customer.

In a recent talk at the Mashable Media Summit (2011), Michael Lazerow, founder and CEO of Buddy Media, discusses how to how to spread your content across social networks more effectively. His main points emphasize my analogy:

1.      Setup and optimize your social presences

2.      Socialize all content to eliminate dead ends

3.      Use social to make money today

Certainly, setting up an online presence on Facebook is important. However, Facebook is not the catch-all answer to online social advertising. All businesses and individuals must focus on channels where their consumers are most active – which means, first of all, determining where those customers are active.

It follows that most businesses should listen before launching a campaign, so they can determine (i) where their customers are active, (ii) what their customers are saying, and (iii) how they can address their customers’ needs. Only after determining this can a business, or an agency on behalf of a business, successfully run an online social marketing campaign.

Regardless of the marketing mix, any channel used to promote a brand should be free of dead ends. A dead end is the when a user completes a task and nothing happens. It is vital that brands convert actions and turn them into free viral clicks. Encourage and even reward shares on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, submissions to StunbleUpon, votes on Reddit/Digg, etc.

As Lazerow demonstrated, the proven tactic of converting dead ends into free viral clicks can result in a massive number of impressions (3.5mm) and a significant amount of savings compared with pay-per-click ads ($43,000).

These viral clicks aren’t  just for visibility – search engines like Google also take them into account when ranking links.

And finally, make sure the ingredients of the marketing mix complement each another. Eliminating silos will ensure a singular voice for your campaign and increase the value of each impression on a potential customer.

As the Talmud states, “Three things are good in little measure and evil in large: yeast, salt, and hesitation.” Luckily, when used correctly, salt is savory and so is Facebook.

As James Beard said, “Where would we be without salt?”