Difficult Questions You'll Face

What is the value of social media and how do we measure it?

We're in a niche market. Do we really need to use social media?

How much should we budget for this effort?

We have limited resources. Where should we focus our efforts?

     This part of the book was extremely interesting because he used numerous interesting examples of real companies when answering every question, however every question boiled down to one answer: "It depends." Schaefer argues that social media marketing is useful for the vast majority of companies because it helps search rankings over time, people now use facebook to do research on companies, customers may think you are out of touch if you do not have a social media presence, and lastly because social media is the future of communications. If these reasons are not convincing enough, Schaefer urges companies to try to finish the sentence, "Only we...." If you can answer this, "your marketing strategy will reveal itself (Schaefer, 2014, pg. 70). Although this, much like "it depends," is a rather ambiguous answer, Schaefer did the best job possible at generalizing the many questions that go into social media marketing. He provides one specific target to narrow down anyone's marketing strategy, which is to fully understand your customers and audience: "all those who want to launch a successful community-oriented information service, either as a public service or for commercial gain, have to do so by understanding the specific information needs and motivations of the community they wish to serve" (Akera, 2008, p.13). If you know what makes your company special, and know your audience well, your marketing strategy and social media's place within it will reveal itself. 

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