“Social media marketing doesn’t work…”

Said one of my marketing client.

I was a little shocked and taken aback. All of these words of defense to protect the reputation of social media and save my marketing efforts rose to my tongue.

After all, she was a nonfiction author and much of what I was doing required management of her social media profiles.

If social media marketing wasn’t working, and she didn’t even believe in the power of social media, what was the point of everything I was doing?

But before my defense mechanism went completely haywire, I realized she was right.


I know, I know, you’re thinking it too.

Social media marketing doesn’t work? Do I need to re-think my entire digital marketing strategy?

Social Media

The answer is yes and no.

After taking a closer look, I realized social media marketing did not work for her at all because she was reaching the wrong people.

You heard right! Social media is not a great marketing tool if you aren’t reaching your target market. And to do that, you need to establish clarity and figure out, who are you currently marketing to?

Who are the people you want to reach and engage with when you post on social media?

Are you engaging single women in their 50s who have an average of 10 cats in their household? Or maybe your product appeals to alligator hunters (and if so, I’m not sure social media would be the right way to reach them!). Perhaps you’re an author, but you’re marketing to authors instead of readers. Maybe you sell jewelry, but the only people seeing your posts are baseball players.

Your next question may be, how do I identify my target market?

Here’s a little exercise. Imagine you go to a ginormous community gathering. There are people from all over the world who speak several languages. But you see one individual, and you just know they are going to love what you have to offer. What do they look like? What kind of people are they surrounded with? What music do they listen to, books they read, clothes they wear? Now, here’s the key: WHY are they interested in what you offer?

Now that you know who they are, your next goal is to start reaching out to them.

Hang out where they hang out online. Read the blogs they are reading. Join the community groups they are a part of. But, tread carefully here! No one likes a cold calling salesperson.

Funny story, just the other day, my sister and I were home one afternoon, and there came an unexpected knock on the door. We both looked at each other, and I said: “If it’s a salesman, don’t bother.” It was a salesman, and she shut the door in his face before he could get more than a “hello” out.

When it comes to sales you can smell the desperation in the air, which is why social media marketing works. Social media, also known as engagement marketing, allows you to build a relationship with your target market instead of forcing a sale.

What are the benefits of building a relationship vs. cold calling?

There are several, but here is the main one:

Instead of having to guilt trip individuals into buying, you’re creating loyal customers who are not only happy to buy your products or services, they will also talk about them!

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tactic, and social media is the digital equivalent of word of mouth.

Regardless of who your target market is or what social media platform you use to connect with them, remember, you have an important message to share!

You have a unique voice and unique perspective. Despite all the “noise” and “saturation” in the marketplace, you can reach exactly whom needs to hear your messages. You just may need to be a bit more targeted about it!

What tactics are you using for social media marketing?


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