My mom discovered online shoe stores yesterday. And she was really excited by free delivery and return shipping, the confirmation e-mail, and the convenience of searching for her shoes without having to trek from store to store.

There’s a point here, and it’s not about shoes. It’s about customers, and how we find them.

Like many people, my mom has a couple of toes dipped into the online waters. She consumes most of her news online, watches videos on YouTube, reads blogs (at least this blog), and sends the occasional tweet. But she’s rarely purchased anything online–and doesn’t traditionally think “online” when she’s shopping.

Then there’s us–content creators, Twitter aficionados, communicators, and social media pros. We pass around case studies and point to companies that are best practice examples of social business at work. And guess what: my mom has never heard of Zappos (and the company didn’t optimize in her search). The lesson is that we’re going to miss a lot of customers if we rely only on social marketing for our engagement.

Think companies aren’t over-relying on social media? Then check out this post from Online Marketing Blog. It cites a Digital Readiness Report that finds that “18 percent of marketing decision makers have no interest whatsoever in traditional marketing.” [emphasis mine]

Are you over-relying on social media buzz? What change can you make to your marketing mix today to make sure you’re reaching more of your target audience?

Photo by mckaysavage (Flickr).