How Social Media Extends Marketing Reach

Vickie Pittard, Partner
Little Black Dog Social Media and More

When marketers talk about reach, they are referring to how far your marketing message spreads and how many people see it. The goal of marketing is to communicate with your customers and known prospects about

  • new products or services and/or pricing
  • your company or brand
  • special events
  • Company news, etc.

When used for marketing, social media extend the reach of your marketing efforts exponentially. This happens when the people receiving an announcement from you share that information with their friends, family members, and colleagues or co-workers.

Romeo, the little black dog, makes a new friend at the dog park. Like social media and marketing, the dog park lets Romeo make new friends.

Before the internet and social media, people received a telephone call, received a flyer or letter by mail, saw a display ad in a newspaper or magazine, on a billboard or other type of sign. When people passed this information to others, generally it was called word of mouth marketing. Often, people who had experience with your business or your products passed on the information in the advertisement along with a recommendation based on personal experience.

Marketers and business owners value Word of mouth marketing because of its unique power in the marketplace. People trust the recommendations of people they know far more than any company’s advertising. This has not changed in the digital age.

What has changed with email and social media is the speed and extent to which advertising and marketing communication messages can reach. The effect of sharing marketing messages via social media has been called (correctly) word of mouth on steroids. Social media allow any marketing message to spread in a matter of seconds. In addition, because of the word of mouth characteristic of an implied recommendation, when your marketing communication reaches beyond the people with whom you have a direct connection, it commands the attention of a new part of the market for your products or services.

Consider the math of a relatively simple promotion:

Action                                                                                                                                        Number

You email a message to a mailing list of 2,000 people                                                                           2000

You update your Facebook page with the same information                                                                      400

(your followers, separate from the email list)

You Tweet a link to the information to your followers (unique followers)                                                      500

You Pin the advertisement on Pinterest (seen by 100 people)                                                                   100

Number of your followers reached                   3000


One fourth of your email subscribers forward it to 50 people each                                                         25,000

One fourth of your Facebook fans share the information with 50 people                                                    5000

10% of your Twitter followers retweet the information to 50 people                                                           2500

20 of your Pinterest contacts share the ad with 20 people                                                                        400

Number of people now reached                    35,900


2% of the total number of people who see the information, share it with 10 others they believe will
be interested (718 x 10)                                                                                                                      7180

Total number reached                                   43,080


Assuming that 10% of your followers purchase the product you advertise, and that the product price is $89.50, you would sell the product to 300 people. Your total sales revenue comes to 300 x $89.50 =                                                                                                                                                     $26,850


By using social media to promote your product and extend your marketing reach, one can assume that 1% of the people who see the promotion (430.8 people) purchase the same product at the same price. Your sales revenue now comes to 430.8 x $89.50 =                                                       $38,556.60


The numbers used in this example will not be typical of every business. The point is that social media enabled you to increase sales for the promotion by $11,706.60 and win 130.8 new customers. If, for example, the lifetime value of a customer for your business is $3000.00, using social media in this promotion will account for an additional $392,400.00 of revenue over the life of these new customers alone.

Again, this is a hypothetical example. Further, the example traces the flow of information only to the second degree of sharing. The amazing power of social media to extend the reach of your marketing is that

(1)    the sharing may continue through several additional levels of sharing,

(2)    people often share in several ways (someone who received the announcement on Twitter might share it on Facebook, pinterest and another network in addition to Twitter), and

(3)    other social networking sites might enter the example.

Once you understand how social media extends marketing reach, it makes a great deal of sense to add social media to your marketing strategy.

Every day, Romeo (the little black dog) sniffs out new strategies and tactics, as well as new platforms, to extend the reach of marketing and other communication programs for our clients. If you want to extend the reach of your marketing and customer engagement campaigns, contact us. We would love to help you grow your business.

About Vickie Pittard

Comments are closed.