Speed, reach and a lesson in caution

Smart Marketing with Tish Pierce

While out driving the other day, I passed a subdivision entrance with underground sprinklers. The sprinklers were aimed at a row of crepe myrtle trees. Unfortunately the last tree in the row was too far to receive the water’s benefit. It looked severely anemic in comparison to the other trees.

The first thought that came to mind was the old real estate saying, “location, location, location”. If the sprinkler head had been located a little more to the left, the tree would be fine. Almost as quickly, I thought nope, not location, but reach. With just a few more feet of reach, the sprinkler’s spray would have covered that tree.

Reach, with today’s marketing tools, is easier than ever before. In the world of marketing, reach is defined as the “estimated number of potential customers it is possible to touch through an advertising medium or a promotion campaign.” Reach is the number of people exposed to your marketing message.

Just a few years back, businesses had to rely on the standard marketing vehicles: print, radio or television. Today the internet has expanded the field exponentially. Not only has the internet expanded the field, it has several avenues within with which to succeed.

One of the fastest internet marketing vehicles is social networking. New York’s Madison Avenue agencies have proven the viability of  Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing success. Depending on the content, one Tweet can amplify and be retweeted thousands of times. The amplification of word of mouth advertising using social media is limitless. But the inherent risk of such rapid speed is not to be taken lightly.

Chrysler Group and Aflac are two huge companies which have taken hits with social media marketing backlashes. Within a few days of each other, remarks made on Twitter that were judged to be tasteless and inappropriate caused the companies to react by releasing spokespersons and agencies. Unfortunately –  despite costly maneuvers – once the hammer has hit, the blow can not be unstruck.

Voltaire (not Spiderman) was the origin of the phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility”. The expression was written in response to an abuse of authority and privilege by those in power during 19th century France. However the phrase is certainly applicable to social network marketing. Staying on point while not offending yet being worthy of sharing is the goal.

Without a doubt, social media marketing is worth the effort. The resounding marketing success of business Titans from every corner of the globe should be the goal for small businesses. While taking advantage of the reach and speed, just don’t forget the err on the side of caution with content.

Tish Pierce, Pierce Creative Marketing Service (www.piercecms.com) Member of the Livingston Parish Chamber since 2006. Tish can be reached at 225.284.8231 or email info@piercecms.com