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Social media is an incredible tool for bringing in new customers and increasing conversions for your store. Thing is…most people might actually be doing it wrong.

You’ve heard it all before. Social media is a new frontier for marketing, offering business owners a completely unprecedented means of bringing their brand to a larger audience than ever before. Done right, it can rocket a brand into the spotlight with minimal investment.

Done right, it can bring more customers to your store than ever.

Here’s the thing, though – social media’s actually extremely difficult to do right. Even if you’ve got quality content, a great brand voice, and an ironclad schedule for your posts, you might still run into trouble when it comes to promoting yourself

The problem, according to Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer, is that although social networks do have excellent reach, that reach isn’t really all that reliable.

“Social media offers your brand reach, but today’s social media is terrible at reliable reach,” explains Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer. “Reliable reach is the ability to send a message to a person who has asked to hear from you, and for that message to reach that person. Email has reliable reach. So does direct mail. And the telephone. And even fax. Social media does not have reliable reach, which is what makes it so challenging for marketers.”  

“The difference between potential impressions and actual impressions is the biggest business lie since magic potions,” he adds.

The issue is that the average consumer deals with so much noise on a day-to-day basis that they aren’t guaranteed to hear a message, even if it’s tailored specifically to them. A lot of messages are going to get lost in the cacophony created by the countless other brands, retailers, and marketers on the web. So…what can you do, exactly?

Simple: you need to adjust your understanding of reach, and of how social media works from a marketing perspective. You need to look into alternative avenues through which you can reach your customer base. And you need to expand your targets in the social media sphere.

Baer refers to this as the shotgun approach, and it’s based on a simple principle: you need to send messages to as many channels as possible in order to maximize your reach and improve your chances of success. While it’s still important that you put in the work to make each of your social posts excellent, you also need to ‘shotgun’ those posts over a large swathe – you need to emphasize quantity without sacrificing quality.

As to how you can do this, Our Social Times lays out a decent framework for a multi-channel social strategy:

  • Focus on your buyer personas. Consider who you’re marketing to, and adapt your posts
  • Identify which channels your buyers use, and focus on those first.
  • Create a single social media dashboard through which you can manage your channels. Shopify, for example, has the eClincher plugin, while Magento offers BeeCommerce. You can also integrate most major eCommerce tools with social platforms like Hootsuite.
  • Ensure you stay true to your brand identity, no matter which platform you use.
  • Monitor your social analytics

Plenty of people traditionally approach social media with precision – like they’re using a rifle. With how crowded the web’s gotten of late, it might well be time to start using a shotgun.


Christina Coons is a professional digital marketer at Northcutt, an inbound marketing agency. She specializes in e-commerce, social media, and public relations, and spends her days helping brands succeed online.

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