The Simple Strategies & Tactics Are Often Best

by · June 1, 201212 comments

Driving into the office on Thursday, I heard an interesting radio commercial. Actually, only the last line of the commercial was interesting. It was seven words that accomplished three things digital and social media marketers keep banging their heads against the wall over.

The chatter at conferences, on blogs and in webinars of late has included many themes, but these three keep emerging as what digital marketers can’t quite figure out:

  1. Defining a strategic purpose for social media
  2. Integrating social media with traditional marketing
  3. Driving more engagement

So when those seven words rolled out of my car speakers, I almost had to pull off the side of the road so I could stand and clap. A business finally accomplished all three in a single sentence in a radio ad.

The words: Have a question? Ask us on Facebook!

Meguiar’s car care products has obviously chosen to use social media as a customer service function. Sure, it might (and does) post product information, polls about how people care for their cars, etc., on its Facebook page. But the company had six questions from customers in a 24-hour period from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning when I checked this week. Their responses seemed to be a day or so behind, but the company appeared to answer most, if not all, of the previous questions posted.

In adding those seven little words to its traditional advertisements, Meguiar’s is clearly illustrating a smart way to leverage the reach of one medium to direct those interested to the intimacy of another. Radio ads will reach more people than wall posts or Tweets every day, provided they are played on a station with some degree of an audience. (This particular ad was on The Bob and Tom Show, a nationally-syndicated comedy morning show with millions of listeners.) Meguiar’s is casting a wide net with advertising hoping that a handful of big fish are interested enough to come closer to the boat on Facebook.

And of course, telling people they can reach out and get something in return on your Facebook page, even if it’s just an answer to their questions, drives engagement.

Have a question? Ask us on Facebook!

Drives a strategic purpose, integrates with traditional media and drives engagement.

Meguiar’s wins.

There’s nothing complex about this. Nothing you’d need to pay a high-priced consultant for. Nothing that would take your agency or staff hours and hours to facilitate. Add a line of copy to the ads, put someone on Facebook to monitor and answer questions and win.

Sometimes its the simple that is most divine.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/lorilewis Lori Lewis

    “There’s nothing complex about this. Nothing you’d need to pay a high-priced consultant for.” -Jason Falls Why would someone need to hire you if that’s how you talk? 
    Especially about people who do serve a purpose. The social and digital space doesn’t come easy for some. Sometimes it’s beneficial for companies to hire a social strategist just for that “global view” as they are tasked with day to day responsibilities. 
    Full disclosure, I work for many of radio’s great brands – serving them in areas they haven’t connected to just yet and building brand advocate programs.
    I’m always confused when people like you say something like that.
    Respectively,
    Lori Lewis

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      The point, Lori, is to empower and encourage business owners to know that this is not rocket surgery. Sometimes a simple execution of social media strategy works wonders for a business. There is a time and place for consultants and agencies. But far too many businesses are still scared if social media, thinking there’s some black art to it. My hope is that this example shows many there doesn’t have to be anything complicated about it.
      And people typically hire me because they know they need more than simple. ;-)

      • http://allaccess.com/merge Lori Lewis

        I hear you and agree with you regarding empowering & removing the fear. It just read as if you are talking down to companies for hiring people to help them find their way in the social space. With Respect, Lori

  • Rosemary

    The key point of this is to start saying something like “Have a question? Ask us on Facebook” (offering to provide value) rather than “like us on Facebook” or “follow us on Facebook” (offering nothing)  as 90% of companies are doing right now.  (Personally, I’d be steering folks to my homepage rather than FB, but that’s a different blog post.)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Precisely, Rosemary. Well said.

    • http://www.weboutsourcing-gateway.com/ Diah Abida

       You’re right Ms. Rosemary. The statement “Have a question? Ask us on Facebook” detaches burden from the target customers. The statement implies that the company cares for his target market. This is like saying, “We do not force you to like us, but if you have questions and want to know more about us, you can simply get in touch through Facebook.”

  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    So many brands, strategists and businesses fail at that one single point: Ask us. We’re all so sure we’re meeting the needs of our whatever – customers, clients, followers, etc – that we forget that one simple tenet. Kudos to Meguiar’s for understanding KISS.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Agreed! Thanks for swinging by Danny!

  • http://twitter.com/3rhinomedia Don Stanley

    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

  • http://www.weboutsourcing-gateway.com/ Diah Abida

    Marketing Communication (which includes traditional and online marketing) should not be as it is. Marketing Communication should be integrated. All promotional techniques utilized by a business must be wholly coordinated and speak consistency. In Marketing, it is not about utilizing all types of promotions (complexity). Rather this is about determining what are the promotions fitted for a company and sustaining these promotions (simplicity). Thanks for the post. Love this article.

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  • Jig Bax

    “Have a question?  Ask us on Facebook!” brings being social back to social media.  It’s also the PR value in the radio plug!  SIMPLY brilliant! ;-)  So’s this article!  Thanks, thanks! :)