Social Media is a Marketing Channel, Not a Strategy

I love teaching bright, young college students for a number of reasons, but one is that I learn a lot from them. This week, students are finishing up presentations on the marketing plan they developed, which gave me great insights on how Millenials view social media–as a marketing strategy. However, social media isn’t a strategy, social media is a marketing channel.

In many of the presentations, students said their promotional strategy relied on social media either by itself or supplemented with other channels like TV. Unfortunately, I don’t think my students are isolated examples of this misconception. For instance, I have clients come in with proposals from other marketing firms and see a similar mistake in their thinking–and these are folks who make a living through their marketing expertise. I also see proposals that include “viral marketing” as a strategy. It’s really sad (and potentially a disaster for firms who rely on this crappy advice).

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