We all want to get noticed online and social media marketing is the current fashion. We’re promised masses of sales by simply setting up a few accounts on whatever social site is the latest craze…
Welcome to the social media marketing race
The first hurdle is getting followers, likers and connections. You join the race to get a gazillion followers by Friday.
So, you buy fans and followers, set up the latest gizmo to auto follow people in the hope they follow you back, run around pages dropping messages left and right. “I liked your page, like me back!”
After all, that’s what Bob down the road does to promote his business online.
Then you realise that no amount blasting your messages en-mass to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a couple of dozen social sites gets anywhere. Messages simply aren’t seen or are ignored when they are.
All that energy, time, money and effort with not a single sale to show for it.
Social media marketing doesn’t work!
The real problem is you are trying too hard and forgetting one important element. Social means people and people are human not numbers.
Caroline, over on her Facebook page Free Graphic Design Tutorials posted a link to an article about insincere behaviour on Facebook recently. It’s a pretty good article and applies to many social media sites, not just Facebook.
The article covers some basic netiquette. Many of the “please don’t s” are common mistakes because people don’t know any better. We’re bombarded by other people doing these mistakes everyday and think that’s how social media is done. Guilty as charged when I first got started too, particularly with Twitter.
The article also talks about sincerity online, but I don’t think it goes far enough. It doesn’t cover the why…
Think about how you use social media – personally, not as your business. What do you do online and why?
Ultimately, whatever you’re doing is selfish – it’s in your own self-interest when you like a page, follow someone on Twitter or connect on any other social media site. You’re human (at least I hope you are!)
You get something that benefits you in return…
- Keep in touch with friends
- Learn new information
- Be entertained
- Make new contacts
Despite the Internet and technology, there’s a connection on a human level.
That connection is missing when you buy fans and followers or auto-follow and auto-follow back. The person (if it’s not a spam account) at the other side isn’t interested in you and what you do. They’re just a number and pointless.
Messages to these numbers even if they do see them, won’t be acted on because they aren’t interested in what you do. They’re not your target audience.
This brings us to the next problem with social media marketing…
The marketing side!
Marketing isn’t just blasting your “BUY ME!” message to anyone who will listen (and the numbers that don’t).
We’re back to being human again.
Think about your own online activities. If all you see from a person in your various newsfeeds and email is, “BUY ME NOW!” then you switch them off. You’ll unfollow them, unsubscribe or simply ignore them.
We’re all human, we don’t buy anything unless there’s reason – even if that reason is I want one!
Then we’ll shop around, look at what’s on the market, ask our friends etc. Often we’ll return to a business we’ve already made a purchase from – if they’ve lived up to our expectations and provided value.
Social media messages often don’t convert directly to a phone call, email enquiry or a person popping to your shop or office. People are not likely to read your status update and dash out with their credit or debit card without some background knowledge.
So why bother with social media marketing at all?
Quite simply it’s a great way to make connections and allow people to get to know your business better. It helps build the “know, like, trust” element of selling anything. It helps keep your business “top of mind” for when people are ready to make a purchase.
It’s all about communication, which is what marketing is after all.
Social media marketing is just one small part of your overall marketing mix. It’s not a selling machine and it certainly isn’t effortless and can’t be fully automated.
What do you think? Are you human online? Has social media marketing worked for you?