Social media content marketing: the hype versus the real thing

Back in the day, I remember sales calls where I would ask questions, listen to identify a potential need and use brochures to point out features and benefits to my B2B prospects and customers. However, nothing worked better than telling a story about another company who had a need that my firm was able to satisfy using the product(s) that I was selling. 30+ years later, I realize that the story was an example of content marketing. AND, since I was sitting in front of the prospect or customer, I was being social.

Nothing is really new, except for the one-to-many and many-to-one communication channels that makes social media so powerful. Of course, like the sales call, social media is a two-way real conversation. I bolded “real” because some of my contemporaries believe that the “online world” is somehow separate from the “real world.” It is as though the two are separate and unequal. “Real” is used, in this instance, to demonstrate both the supposed superiority of current marketing and sales practices, while online is that amorphous, ethereal, fake world of the Internet. Then we have the others who claim that social media content marketing is the “end all, be all.”  The fact is that you can not rely on just one of these to achieve the results that you need. Current marketing and sales practice works very well with social media content marketing.

In the 1880′s telephones were not ubiquitous. As a matter of fact. “In January 1878 Queen Victoria permitted Alexander Graham Bell to demonstrate his telephone, which left her unimpressed: ‘It was faint.’ When commercial service began in London the next year, she was uninterested, and would never suffer a telephone in the living quarters in any of her residences.” There are executives who have the same attitude about social media now.

Social media is the new telephone.

Old phone with party line compared to a smart phone with Facebook on the screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “new telephone” is the description that fits the best when describing social media to the uninitiated. Like the party line, social media is both one to many and many to one as a communication device. Of course, social media, is much more powerful because the numbers of people it can reach are much greater. We all know the influences of social media on communication. One example is the fact that a neighbor of bin Laden’s actually used social media to describe what he heard and saw during the U.S. operation to capture or kill the terrorist leader. That tipped off the mass media that something was going on. Fortunately, some members of the media heard that new phone ring.  Your company can not answer the phone unless it has one. And most assuredly that phone is ringing, whether you have one now or not.

We now have a very powerful new telephone in social media. Why not use it to offer valuable and compelling content to your market segment – content that demonstrates great expertise your company has in your field – content that provides assistance to your target market? When it comes time to buy, prospects will naturally gravitate to those firms that they feel understand their business and are thought leaders in their industry. With blogging and the other social media channels, combined with conventional sales and marketing, you have the best marketing mix to connect with your target market.

Thought leaders… Many consider The Blade to be just a newspaper. While we are a great newspaper, we are also a top-notch news video, audio, and Web content producer, with millions of visitors to our Web site, toledoblade.com, and tens of thousands of users of our iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle news applications.

The Blade has more than 30,000 followers and friends on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Pinterest. We know social media and content marketing. After all, we investigate and report the news needed for northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The Blade is the best prepared to advise you in the search for your firms’ valuable and compelling stories for your content marketing program. No company has a better understanding of using that content with social media to bring the results you want than The Blade. Of course furnishing mobile Web sites, and assisting with search marketing are also available from The Blade.

Contact us to assist you with your content marketing and social media marketing needs.

About Paul Hem

Innovator, team-player, who leads by example and loves to win.
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