We Don't Need No Stinking Social Media Strategy

jmsb@johnsanfilippo.com

www.johnsanfilippo.com

There are two popular schools of thought in the B2B marketing space when it comes to social media, and fintech marketing is a perfect case in point.

One school says that, while social media may be great for marketing frozen yogurt, running shoes or discount vacation packages, it's really incapable of moving the needle in a B2B environment. Sure, create a half-assed Facebook page so you can put the little "F" logo on your website, but don't bother putting any real effort into it. After all, social media never sold a core data processing system, for example, and probably never will.

The other school says that every business must have a strong social media strategy and those who don't, move forward at their own peril.

Being the contrarian that I am, I of course think that students of both schools should be riding the short bus.

First of all, completely ignoring social media is a bad idea, no matter what business you're in. I always remind people that B2B is really a misnomer. Your business doesn't sell products and services to other businesses. Your sales and marketing team sells products and services to people who run other businesses. In other words, it's always about people selling to other people. And all people are social. Why wouldn't you try to connect with your potential buyers in a digitally social setting?

Where I take exception with the idea of a "strong social media strategy" is the implication that social media should be managed separately from the rest of your marketing -- that you can hire a college intern to tweet or twiddle or twittify or whatever you call it, without much regard for the rest of your marketing program, and that should be all you need.

Let's be clear here. Social media is a tactic, or I suppose, a collection of interrelated tactics. Strategy is the thoughtful combining of available tactics to create a unique program with measurable objectives. So what you need is what you've always needed: a strong and comprehensive marketing strategy.

That means combining all the tactical resources you have at your disposal -- including social media. In some situations, social might take center stage; in others, its role may be minor. But social media should always be used as an integrated component of your overall marketing program.

Social media is, well, social. It doesn't want to be locked in a closet with your intern. It wants to mix and mingle with all your other marketing tactics. Set your social media free!

That is all.

#socialmedia #strategy

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