- 22 Sep
Urban Legends of Social-Media Marketing Busted
In a recent posting in the Business Journals, Shama Kabani, CEO of The Marketing Zen Group, posed the proposition that there is “Four Social-Media Basics You Must Master“. For me, it was an interesting piece since in the past year alone I have run into what I call the Urban Legends of Social-Media Marketing with two separate companies. Her article touches upon what I consider to be the four most disastrous of these Urban Legends: It’s Fast. It’s Easy. It’s Free
Post and they will come . . . As Ms. Kabani noted in her piece, there seems to be no shortage of advice and advisers when it comes to social media and social marketing. These “self-proclaimed social media gurus”, as she called them, provide little more than distracting noise and for a business person looking for valid advice it can be hard if not almost impossible to determine which advice to take and from whom to take it.
In reality, when it comes to Social Media Marketing there are some foundational truisms that we all need to be aware of. I have seen the frustration, disappointment and utter confusion in business people who had the preconceived notions about social-media marketing that were colored by these Social-Media Urban Legends.
It is Not Fast – It’s going to take time
When you look at the Facebook sites for some of the major brands like Apple, Nike, Under Armor or even Burger Kings, they seem to have gained a million Facebook fans or Twitter followers in a week. To them given their marketing budgets, this would be no big feat – in fact, it would practically be expected. For most of these brands, you need to recognize that they have also had a presence on social-media for a number of years.
You will probably not see this level of results in your first week. To be totally honest, you will probably not see any results in the first week. Social media is a process that takes time. It is not fast and it isn’t marketing for an organization that becomes easily discouraged or that needs “instant results”.
It is Not Easy – It’s going to take consistency
According to Twitter, site users send 140 million tweets each day. Now ask yourself “How often do I tweet“? If you find yourself remembering that your company has a Twitter account and it is not a good answer then you need to focus more attention.
Social-Media success comes as the result of a planned strategy, solid background research and a consistent and rigorously followed posting schedule. If you don’t keep up, nobody will remember you’re there and you may even forget too.
It is Not Free – It’s going to take money
Recently I proposed a Social-Media campaign and budget to the CEO of a new social media platform as part of their launch program. To my surprise – given the fact that they were in the social-media space and were presumably a bit more sophisticated about social-media than the average business – the first comment by the CEO was “I thought it was all FREE? Why is there a budget?”
In her piece, Shama noted that on its surface, that statement does seem to make some sense. “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google+ or Blogspot and every other social media site on the Internet – they’re all free . . . right? Well yes, that part is right.
But then you need a person to do your social media. And you may want some monitoring or posting software.” And this all doesn’t come free.
Even if you Post, they will not necessarily come – It’s going to take a smart website too
Even with all of this, your website is still your most important piece of your social media program for one simple reason: ownership. If you have a Facebook account but no website, you’ve done it backwards. You don’t own the information on your Facebook page — Facebook does. You could wake up one morning to discover that your business’s Facebook page isn’t there anymore.
Believe it or not, it has happened. Think of it in these terms, your website is your house. Keep your house clean. Make repairs swiftly, so you don’t become an eyesore. Give it a fresh coat of paint once and awhile. People will be much more likely to stop by for a visit.
Sharma then gave the best advice of all: “Above all, don’t forget why you’re using social media in the first place: to have conversations. When you keep this in mind, the rest should flow naturally.”Shama Kabani is CEO of The Marketing Zen Group, a social media and digital PR firm based in Dallas, TX and servicing clients all over the globe. Her best-selling book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing has just been published in an updated 2nd Edition.