I love Social Media, I love the concept, I love how it can form communities and build relationships that could never happen offline. As much as I love it and as much as I'd love for all of my clients to use it, there are times where I know I need to hold in check my enthusiasm for this channel of Internet Marketing and wait. Why wait?
Because my client's audience is not tech savvy in any way shape or form. They do not get this whole social media spectrum or do they even understand word of mouth marketing. My client's audience sees an ad in the newspaper for a web site, carefully tears it out, brings it to their grandchildren and has them type it into the browser or they themselves type it into that "Google Box." Why should I have my clients spending their hard earned money on services that have me building link bait for them? Right now I shouldn't - not for that client, there money is better spent in other marketing channels.
Again, it's about knowing your audience. It's about knowing when to pull back a PPC campaign in favor of natural search. It's about knowing that forums might be the key to getting the branding of your client's products, or its knowing a full blown PPC campagin that gets your client's name and product out into the content networks. It's about knowing whether to tweak an article for the Netscape audience or the Reddit audience. It's about knowing your client.
We as Internet Marketers really tend to live in such an isolated world. Where LinkBait, Digg, Web 2.0 and blogging are all everyday common words. My parents look at me strange when I talk about Digg, or a "neat widget". My sister who just got her doctorate, needed me to help her figure out which search engine would help her find the information she needed. Here's a shocker - it wasn't Google, it was actually ASK that turned up the best results for her, but because I knew her "as a client" I was able to know what would work for her.
Social Media is a wonderful thing, it's a very powerful marketing tool - for the right client. But so are search engines for other clients. Word of mouth marketing might even work the best for that really obscure client. See where I'm trying to lead you? Social Media is great, but just like with the Search Engines, don't just market for one. In this case, don't just focus on one marketing channel just because it's the newest thing and has a lot of potential. If your grandma can't understand it, it should make you stop and think twice.