Let me make a simple point – most business owners confuse the social thing with being sociable. If you think carefully about "Social Media Marketing" the most important word contained in that phrase is marketing.
The other two really just describe the medium you're using, it’s no different to a carpenter's saw.
What he wants is a piece of wood cut, he has a choice of saws and they will all do the job, only one will do it a bit better than the other and one saw will clearly be the right one.
At a Sussex Enterprise event a few years ago I described myself as the ‘anti social media’ expert because I don’t believe it’s a medium for everyone, not every business should bother with it. In fact it's only one small part of a marketing mix and a small one at that.
One Social Media Expert advised me last week that I was missing a trick with Social Media when I lied and told her I specialised in the sales of Fish Farming Equipment – I asked her how I would find Fish Farmers on the social platforms, I think I am still waiting for an reply.
This might seem trivial to you, but it’s vitally important you understand where to focus all of your marketing efforts.
Marketing is marketing is marketing. It's broadly the same in all businesses industries and with good reason we are all human beings and we're pretty much built on the same hardware and run the same software. Any differences are differences of style, not substance.
So when an expert pops up and explains to you that "social media marketing" is somehow different from any other kind, you can take it from me you're being lied too (deliberately or otherwise). The real reason these idiots make these stupid claims is they either know they can't justify their idiotic strategies using traditional metrics like sales and profits, so they seek to move the posts, it’s either that or they are simply ignorant about marketing.
Before you even think about putting another penny into any social media marketing you must have a clear idea about how you're going to get people onto your site from the social media platforms and how you're going to measure how effective this is and how much money it's making you. Sorry to mention the money thing, I do that a lot and with good reason.
So is social media going to suit everyone and every business?
There are some businesses where I really do think any kind of social marketing is going to be completely and utterly useless. Some examples of this could be Defence Contractors, Medical Equipment suppliers, High End Financial Advisers, in all fairness a long list.
Do you really think you are going to engage with decision makers using 140 characters or by friending them on Facebook? Or randomly adding them on Linkedin (at the moment I have over 200 people waiting to connect with me – I have no idea who they are) good luck with this friending and connecting randomly.
What about you, are you really the social type of person?
The way to approach social marketing is in the same way you approach networking. An effective networker does not wander into a room and start chatting aimlessly about stuff. Instead they have an aim and a purpose: to connect with people and connect people with each other, and thereby grow their business.
As some of you will know I describe modern business networking as a room full of people all wanting to get laid but not one wanting to be laid. Everyone is selling and no one is buying.
The interesting point I want to make with you is this, your personality is important. If you are crap in large crowds of people or a little insecure when speaking to strangers. Networking will be a disaster. This does not mean you are not worthy of being in business – it just means you will need to alter your approach. My thinking is that more money is made from organising networking meetings than attending them.
Bringing this back to social media again, if you are crap at networking my guess is you probably won't be any good with social either. You just won’t do enough of it to make it pay. Logic and understanding of human nature indicates that if you don’t like something, are not good at it – you won’t do it.
If you are genuinely looking for ways to grow your business I know I can help, but not with any form of social unless there is a clear business case for it. Why – because unlike other marketing consultants I guarantee my work and it’s this guarantee that forces me to focus on getting results and that’s all.
You can contact me using the form below.