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(Posted on Nov 1, 2014 at 05:41AM by William Cosgrove)
Have you read “Social Media Marketing Is A Dying Business Model” by Nikki Majewski ? The post covers a discussion at the at the 2014 National Radio Conference by Jules Lund who explains why organic social media marketing is a dying business and what he thinks it will take to succeed.

We all know that Facebook has been at the forefront of instituting paid social media content by drastically reducing the reach of organic content but the writing is on the wall because most other social networks are also experimenting with paid content.

The potential reach of these networks makes them places where businesses should have a presence but the bottom line is that you should never be totally dependent on outside forces over which you have no control.  There are sound alternative ways to capitalize on this by using the assets within your control in conjunction with and as part of a diversified marketing plan.

With social media channels bringing in a new era of pay to play and taking more control over the social media playing field this is a subject that needs to be addressed to find other avenues that can foster autonomy and provide stability and permanence in this changing virtual landscape of online marketing.

Regardless of the direction that the social media marketing giants or the online industry as a whole may eventually take and change through new technology there is a way to insure consistency, autonomy, online presence,  and potential reach and that is by “Marketing From Ground Zero” which starts by having a  community member platform on your website  that you can utilize and adapt to all prevailing winds and turn an existing company resource- your existing customer base- into advocates and influencers as an anchor for your online marketing strategy.

An onsite community can be the jewel in the crown of your online marketing and act as “ground zero” to fuel your overall marketing initiatives. Unlike paid advertising that is fleeting and exits only as long as you are paying, an onsite community is an asset that endures and can provide a solid foundation to continually produce benefits to both you, your existing and potential customers.

No matter what industry you are in an onsite community can create a customer centric culture and provide consistency that will resonate across all your paid, social and owned media channels. And no matter what direction social media marketing takes these communities will act as conduits to reach and attract an audience that can know and understand you and will result in increased brand perception and engagement.

Communities also become data centers for learning the needs, concerns and actions of its customer base through diverse interaction creating a virtual ecosystem that feeds on itself.

There are many different forms that an onsite community can take and each one can be customized to fit each businesses particular needs. In lieu of or in addition to paying professional market influencers you can create ways to make your own customers advocates and influencers by rewarding them with special discounts, offers, drawings and contests for community members along with content and a forum for communication that will keep members (customers) engaged and informed that will pay big dividends in retaining existing customers and attracting new ones for your business.

With social organic reach fast becoming a distant memory as social networks and online advertisers seek to profit from their platforms not to mention the countless vendors vying for your limited resources with the next panacea that will take you to the top “ It is time to Look Within”  to seek alternative ways in which to effectively reach and draw audiences to build a permanent foundation that can provide extremely cost- effective ways to control your own destiny and solidify your place for the long term in the online marketing industry.

By William Cosgrove