What about social media for marketing?
Last night, James and I were talking about the pros and cons of social media versus direct marketing. It ended up being a bit of a heated discussion! I am so passionate about direct marketing that when he was extolling the benefits of social media, I felt as if he was insulting one of our children. (OK, not exactly, but you get the idea).
James’ opinion is that posting regularly on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Foursquare, etc) is a great vehicle to use to promote yourself and your business. I agree with that, but, as I said to him, if I had to make an analogy, I would say that direct marketing is to bread and social media is to jam. I see social marketing as an added component to what you are already doing, but it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all. You need a firm base to hold that jam! James agrees. He conceded that if you want fast results, do direct mail. Social marketing takes longer and is much more work (if you ask me).
Companies that are not already doing direct mail are totally missing out and leaving money on the table. Period. At the very least, you should be sending a direct mail piece to each and every one of your customers once every six weeks. Direct mail is a tried and true method of marketing. It’s the old standby. At our firm, we are finding more and more companies are getting back to basics with direct marketing. You see, they all tried to save money on marketing when the economy started to turn in late 2008 to 2009 and they’re now realizing what a mistake that was.
I believe that sending a direct mail piece to a very targeted list of potential customers, and then following up with a phone call, is the best way to grow your business starting right now. Because you can choose from over 1,000 different selects (such as hobbies, pets, children, which magazines they read, where they donate and how, what school they went to, what kind of car they drive, and on and on), you know your mailing piece will be going to the exact right targets for your business.
By all means, continue to use social media, but don’t forget about the basics, like direct marketing. It really works!