How to use social media to create customers

Contrary to popular belief, advertising isn’t just about creating brand awareness, though that is one step of the process.


Actually, advertising’s goal is to create customers, or so says Daniel Newman, digital marketing contributor to Forbes Magazine.

In a recent article, he explained, “With the proliferation of digital marketing, social media, and the hyper-aware consumer . . . the role of marketing has evolved. . . . Having said that, the growth of new channels hasn’t changed the fact that marketers are supposed to be creating customers, but what it has done is make many of our marketing efforts more measurable.”

Awareness vs. conversion

Think about all the brands you’re “aware” of. Just because you know that Colgate is another brand of toothpaste doesn’t mean you’ll switch from to that from Crest. Effective marketers, then, don’t just tell you that they have a brand, they tell you enough about their brand that you’re compelled to try it out. Then it’s up to the quality of the product as to whether you become a customer convert. But that part of the purchasing journey is up to another department. We were talking about advertising.

Using social media

One way of creating new customers is tapping into that potent market changer known as social media. Olivier Blanchard, author of the book Social Media ROI explained the use of social media outlets in effective marketing campaigns.

“First,” Blanchard said, “It’s important to remember that social channels, like all other media channels, are just pipes. They are only as effective as you make them. If you use them wrong, they won’t be very effective for you. If you use them right, they can be.”

Judging ROI

Blanchard also cautioned marketers against thinking effective social media marketing is a good alternative to other methods like advertising or emailing because it’s easy and cheap. In fact, creating engaging content that hooks visitors isn’t easy at all, and if you don’t do it right, any amount of money spent on it will be wasted. You can’t judge your ROI based on how many likes your posts get or how many followers your brand has. Blanchard said these are “superficial media metrics” and “you aren’t really driving ROI.”

The moral of the story is don’t forget what your ultimate goal is when you create advertisements: you want to create customers, not just “followers.” Social media can be a good tool to help you pursue this goal, but remember not to over or underestimate its reach.

Source: Forbes

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