So often, companies (large and small) strive to get the elusive Facebook “Like”. Frequently, companies put so much effort into social media engagement, they forget that there are other, more effective methods of marketing. And while the Facebook Like is powerful, it’s not a marketing silver bullet.
A decade ago, marketing managers were having the same conversation about collecting email addresses. At that time, email seemed like an ideal marketing method – direct contact with consumers. However, email filters, spam blockers, and mailbox segmentation (important, promotional, social) means that email marketing has to be just one part of a coordinated marketing plan.
Marketing methods (email messages, Facebook pages, Facebook ads, billboard ads, etc.) have to direct consumers to the same end point. Frequently, that end point is a purchase decision on a website, over the phone, or in person. And while there might be an endpoint, the path that leads to that purchase is more often a funnel than a narrow road.
For example, getting a Facebook Like should encourage consumers to visit the website. And the both the website and the company’s Facebook messages should encourage consumers to submit their email address for value-added content. However, as not all consumers will first see the company’s Facebook page, email messages and website content should encourage consumers to Like the company’s Facebook page.
Marketing is a matrix. And while companies want to control consumer decision making, consumers will always have the buying power. The best strategy is to use the marketing matrix to deliver a consistent, targeted message so that when consumers realize a new need, they are already familiar with the company’s name and product line.