This is SUCH a GOOD question! Good ideas are always good if the goal they are seeking to accomplish is clear and defined.
We shouldn’t dive into the semantics of how GOOD of an idea social media marketing is but rather what can it accomplish and is that right for your business?
I like to explain things using examples (if I had a whiteboard - even better!). Let’s say you are an attorney running a small firm. He wants to attract more people to call him regarding cases particular to his specialty. Is social media marketing a GOOD idea for him/her?
Let’s compare that to a small bakery who just opened a year ago and wants to attract other food businesses to see their product line to include in their eateries. Is social media marketing a GOOD idea for him/her?
The answers are not obvious are they?
What we have to distinguish and realize is that each has a particular need to market something while the other has a particular need to brand something. Yet each desire similar results and social media can accomplish both.
Let me explain further.
Let’s say, for instance, that I just bought a pair of shoes from Nike online. How did I do that and why? I went to nike.com and picked out a pair that I liked and entered my credit card information and voila!
That is branding. I went to Nike not because of an ad, a blog, or a video but because of all of it. I am familiar with the brand because of its ‘branding’ efforts. I didn’t buy the shoes because I clicked on an ad that took me to a landing page or because I received an offer in my email for 30% off. This is marketing.
However, I could have still bought some shoes at, for example, a company called Wish. If you are not familiar with Wish, you more than likely are either not part of their targeting for ads on Facebook or you are not on Facebook much. However, Wish does a TON of Facebook marketing and is the closest thing to a competitor to Amazon these days according to Gary Vaynerchuck (www.garyvaynerchuck.com)
If I buy from Wish, more than likely it is solely because of their social media marketing and ads.
So, is social media marketing a GOOD idea? For all of my social media clients, I ask them this question ‘What do you want to get out of it?’
If you want to get into semantics and engagement rates and if the content is engaging - blah, blah, blah - it doesn’t answer the reason for doing it. This is simply measurement and technicalities of when you are doing social media.
As strategists, we want to uncover what the marketing activity will accomplish to achieve the desired result within an allowable investment of that result.
Original Quora post - https://www.quora.com/Is-social-media-marketing-a-good-idea/answer/Oscar-Quiroga-4