Getting Traditional and Social Media to Work Together

474212223Once upon a time staffing companies’ marketing departments wrote a check for airtime, a giant newspaper ad or a billboard. These would run for the length of the contract and then the sales guy from the media outlet would try to show some data to justify renewing the contract.

In this old scenario, the staffing company’s role was over as soon as the check was signed and until it was time to renew – all the staffing company had left to do was wait and hope. Traditional marketers often think of social media as its annoying little sister but the truth is that social media isn’t an infant tugging on the marketing executive’s leg, but a full grown person demanding to be heard. With the help of social media companies can take a more hands-on approach to their marketing plans.

First, here are two scenarios in which traditional marketing and social media marketing work independently.

Think of a billboard when you think of old school marketing. The ad company identifies the target market, age, gender and other demographics so they have a specific group to target. The company spends a lot of money to get that group’s attention and then they wait until renewal time. Come renewal time the marketing team at the company isn’t satisfied with the numbers so the ad company says, “We can add lights!” This process is repeated until the staffing company has an ad campaign that is just as expensive (and could double) as a live entertainment show in Vegas.

Now, think of the social media marketer more as Jane Goodall (that makes followers of social media the chimpanzees). In social media marketing, the “chimps” or soon-to-be followers are studied. The Goodalls of social media figure out what they like, dislike, what they eat, who they talk to, what problems they face and more. Jane the social media advisor also watches to see if anyone looks up and over at that giant billboard — no one does.

Once the social media advisor feels like he knows them a little, it’s time to put on the chimp costume. He starts talking like them and he even brings fruit from their favorite tree, shakes their hands and asks their names. He always asks what them what THEY need and want.

Then and only then, he points at the big billboard and asks if anyone has seen it, and most of them turn and look at it – really look at it for the first time. Why? Because they trust him.

The beauty of social media is you aren’t in a canoe trying to chase a huge ship taking your chimps out to sea — you’re hopping aboard and talking to them where they are. You can keep shouting at your market from the distance, drowned out by all the other voices or you can simply go up to them and ask if you can walk with them for a bit.

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The real magic happens when traditional marketing and social media work together.

When each is free to do what they do best and then merge them into one strategy – that’s when those moments of marketing gold happen. Heck, it’s cheaper too. The billboard probably could have spared some of its costly “improvements” if social media had been integrated in the beginning and helped promote it earlier.

This isn’t about making your staffing company decide whether one is better or worse. It’s about understanding the differences so you can use them together or separately – yet, effectively. A wrench and pliers are both important tools (and can do some of the same functions) but having them both in your toolbox and using them correctly is always a better plan.

MORE: Social media is a lot like real life

Nicole Weathers

Nicole Weathers
Nicole Weathers is social media advisor at Staffing Robot.

Nicole Weathers

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