Social Media Marketing Isn't Enough: Help Your Clients See That

BY Rachel Cagle
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Social media marketing on its own is not enough to support your client’s business. No matter what size it is, no matter how much research they say they’ve done into the subject, you cannot let them pigeonhole themselves into a social media only-​marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know to convince them otherwise.

Research Against Social Media Marketing-​Only Approaches

Bill Harvey recently wrote an article for MediaVillage on the concerning number of college students who graduate believing that social media marketing is all a business needs to succeed. In the article, he names a study by ARF that found that, “the more media you use, the greater your ROI will be, all other things (like creative) being equal.” Why is that? Here are a few examples.


Harvey says that if you keep funneling more money into one medium (such as social media marketing), you’ll ultimately see fewer returns. Often, companies believe that if they just had a higher budget, they’d be able to get the results they want. While that can be true, it’s negated when all that money is spent on one advertising medium. If it’s not working, the solution isn’t just to do the same thing over and over again. You need to switch it up. “If one switches to another media type when the reach curve starts to flatten and does this again when the second medium flops over, and so on, one is practicing a strategy for maximizing not only reach but ROI,” writes Harvey. If (when) social media marketing alone doesn’t work, you need to switch up your strategy.

Brain Encoding

According to Lumen Learning, memory encoding, “allows an item of interest to be converted into a construct that is stored in the brain, which can later be recalled.” Contrary to what your clients may think, using just one form of marketing doesn’t help with encoding something into their target audience’s brains. You may argue that repeating something is an easy way to memorize it. However, think about it this way: Doesn’t seeing the same thing over and over again on a screen make it fade into the background? You don’t notice it as much when you’ve seen it a lot before. And with how quickly people scroll through social media, ads there need to stand out. Seeing ads for the same product or service on multiple channels is how consumers are going to encode the product or service into their memory.

How Your Clients Should be Marketing

Here’s how much return on investment (ROI) increases per advertising medium added to a campaign:

  • 2 Platforms: 19% increase in ROI
  • 3 Platforms: 23% increase
  • 4 Platforms: 31% increase
  • 5 Platforms: 35% increase

Which media formats should you client be using? Harvey recommends TV as a solid place to start, but only if you combine it with other ad types. When digital and TV ads are in the same campaign, research shows that ROI increases by 60%. And if you pair TV ads with radio ads, ROI tends to increase by 20%. The combination of print and TV ads is also proven to boost ROI by 19%.

But all of that deals in averages. If you want to know for certain what types of ads your clients should be using on top of social media marketing, check out your client’s target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. There, you’ll be able to see the ad types that inspire those consumers to take action the most often. You’ll also be able to compare that audience’s reaction to certain ads against that of American consumers as a whole.

Don’t let your clients waste one more day relying on social media marketing alone. Start planning a multi-​media campaign to boost their ROI.

Photo by Jakob Owens