Eric Ly, speaking at the 2013 Ungerboech Global Conference, spoke in detail about the future of marketing, social media, and how face-to-face interaction is still important in the digital age. In his speech, he stated that social media is simply one element of marketing, and that other areas should not be neglected.
Ly believes that keeping the engagement between customer and brand through a number of channels is important, and encourages businesses to get involved with social media, as well as cultivating great websites and working on their face-to-face events. He also stated that a huge 43 per cent of businesses are now spending six hours a week on social media, with a quarter spending ten hours or more increasing their business” presence online.
Scott Dylan, leading digital marketing consultant and expert in all things social media, says: Ly’s comments at the conference are very interesting because they reaffirm that we are on the right track with social media. He believes that the right approach to social media is using it to supplement a complete marketing campaign, rather than solely relying upon it to provide the bulk of conversions and get people interested. Social media is undoubtedly a huge part of marketing, but it should not be the only channel that businesses use.
It is crucial for businesses attempting to create a coherent and successful online marketing strategy that they do not come to rely entirely on their Twitter feeds or their Facebook posts. Email marketing is still a highly effective way to engage an audience, with the average email marketing campaigning garnering an open response of around 20-30 per cent, whilst direct mail manages just two per cent response rates.
Company websites must also never be overlooked in favour of social media; a business can cultivate as many successful social media channels as they like, but without a website to anchor all links and content to, they will be unable to track ROI and will be less likely to turn page views and clicks into conversions.
Ly’s unique insight as the co-founder of one of the world’s most prominent social networks is a message to businesses to use social media in the right way. Rather than making it the sole provider of brand messages and marketing content, it should be used in conjunction with a number of other marketing methods in order to create a balanced campaign that will reach the largest possible demographic.