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Social Media Marketing Won’t Work If…

Posted by on Sep 3, 2010

I’ve talked a lot lately about social media marketing and influence. Overall, comments have been positive, but fairly minimal. Not that I’m searching for big numbers of responses to the topics (okay, I am) so much as thinking that, as we move into a new age, this should be a pretty big topic for a lot of people to be both thinking about and talking about.

What occurred to me yesterday is that the topic is out there, but not really all that big to the group that I’m marketing to the most. That group are people between the ages of 35 to 65, people with established businesses who I thought might be ready to learn more about how to market to people. What I’m realizing is that there is a definite generational difference between the people I’m marketing to and the people who literally already get it. I’m marketing to a group that’s missing it, that can’t see why they’d even want to get started, let alone want to learn it.

I actually understand this. I’m the same way in other areas. On Wednesday a group called Lady Antebellum was in town, and I had, and still have, absolutely no idea who they are. Justin Bieber was also in town; him I’ve heard of, but I couldn’t tell you a single song. Without having kids, I haven’t tried to keep up with the pop music scene, and thus I hear songs that for the most part I don’t like and names that mean nothing to me. Out of the names listed for the next reincarnation of Dancing With the Stars I had to look up 6 of them to see who they were; these are stars?

I get it; we concentrate on what interests us at all times, and even if something might be in our best interest for our business, if we can’t fully embrace it then we feel we don’t need it. So I decided to list 5 things that indicates why social media marketing won’t work for you.

1. You don’t have time. I keep hearing this one over and over, and frankly, it’s both a valid concern and nonsense at the same time. It’s hard for people to squeeze more things into their schedule if it’s booked tight and you’re working all the time. The reality is that no one is booked all the time and no one is working all the time. We all waste time during our workday; if we didn’t, we’d go crazy. My belief is that even if all you decide to do is 15 minutes a week, just to establish a presence somewhere, you do yourself a world of good. If you could find an hour a week you could write a blog post, maybe post a link on a Facebook business page, do an update on your LinkedIn page, respond to one group post on Linkedin, and send out a link or message on Twitter regarding a business, a retweet, whatever. When you have more time, do more; just do something.

2. You don’t have the money. How much money does it cost to do social media marketing? Depending on what you do, nothing or just a little bit; way less than any other type of marketing you might do. Twitter; free. Facebook; free. LinkedIn; free. Email; could be free, and with an autoresponder less than $200 a year. YouTube; free. Blog; free, or if you pay someone to write it then that could get pricey depending on how much you want written.

3. You don’t understand it. Most of the time when people say this, it means they haven’t even looked at it. If you sign up for LinkedIn, it pretty much tells you what you need to do step by step. There might be some intricacies for real business benefits, but in general, you’re done. Same with Facebook; probably the day you sign up you’re going to have invitations already there from people who’ve been wondering where you’ve been. YouTube isn’t as easy, and though Twitter seems pretty easy, I could see where someone could get confused early on. But I run into almost no one (had to add the “almost”) who’s signed up for a Twitter account and says “I just don’t know what to do” without meaning “I don’t have time”.

4. You don’t even try. Michael Jordan says he’s never made a shot he didn’t take. Whereas many people have thrown up a website, they haven’t taken the time to determine whether it represents them well or not. “Close” doesn’t get it done when you’re hoping to get business from someone that’s thinking about paying you thousands of dollars and your website looks cheap. “Close” doesn’t get it done when you’ve written one blog post in a year. “Close” doesn’t get it done if you create a Facebook business page and done absolutely nothing with it. As with anything else, you have to at least take some kind of consistent action, even if it’s once every two weeks, otherwise it’s best not to even start.

5. You’re not social. And there’s that word again, “social”. Social says you interact with someone instead of “at” them. Social says you respond to comments or email here and there. Social doesn’t say you have to tell everything about yourself, or deal with people who upset you or irritate you in some fashion. It does mean you have to be ready to participate in whatever you start, and it can’t only be about you. And trust me, on Twitter, if all you’re doing is putting out links and retweeting people all the time, it’s viewed as you being all about you.

I can’t remember if I’ve written stuff like this before, but I’ve certainly brought it up in workshops, and I plan on always bringing it up whenever I have the opportunity to talk about it. No one has to do it all; but if you want it to have the chance to work, you still have to do it.

My Friend The Chocolate Cake

My Friend The Chocolate Cake

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hahah Some people use all of their socialness online and then in real life they’re no longer social. Social media really wouldn’t work though if you weren’t a social person who likes to network and connect. That’s what gives social media a strong platform- the willingness of users to want to connect with one another over the blogosphere.

September 3rd, 2010 | 5:52 PM

True Mandy June. Truthfully, I think using social media has helped me open up a little bit more in the real world, at least locally.

September 4th, 2010 | 11:34 AM

I totally agree with you Mandy! Too many people hide behind a screen and a keyboard to pretend to be something they really aren’t. The key word is “social” in social media and you can only have influence if you demonstrate that key word.

September 3rd, 2010 | 10:43 PM

I can see where the people who are reluctant to be more active in social media are coming from. When I first started trying to market my business I had a list of plans like cold calling, flyers, adwords, etc. I knew that social media, twitter, and blogging were powerful, but I still put them at the end of my list.

After I went though everything on my list without much luck, I finally came to Twitter and blogging. After only a few months, those are the only forms of marketing which have benefited my company tremendously.

Its tough to jump into social media, even though most people would agree on its importance. I think that if more people would just give 100% into a trial period then they would clearly see the benefits.

September 4th, 2010 | 2:27 PM

You were going to be there at some point, Keith, because of what you do. I think we all go through the “normal” ways of marketing first because we think that’s the way to go. It is if we have real money behind us and can also launch a TV and radio campaign, or pay someone to send out 50,000 flyers to businesses for us. Otherwise, those things just don’t work.

September 5th, 2010 | 1:56 AM
Holly Jahangiri:

“Whereas many people have thrown up a website…”

That explains EVERYTHING, right there in a nutshell.

September 4th, 2010 | 10:09 PM

Sure does Holly. lol

September 5th, 2010 | 1:56 AM

Finally the truth about social media marketing. I just don’t get it how some people always talk about social media killing SEO. I also believe that if you don’t know what you’re doing, social media won’t work. Thanks for this.

September 5th, 2010 | 10:09 PM

No problem; glad to have your input. You’re right, if you do it well it can only help enhance both your online and offline presence.

September 5th, 2010 | 11:48 PM

Social marketing works well only if you are social. The strategy is first to rely to your best friends and business people that you deal with and after that trying to get new friends from different sources.

September 6th, 2010 | 5:15 AM

Actually Carl, you can’t rely on best friends when it comes to social media marketing. At least from what I’ve seen, you can’t even get your best friends to read your blog, and many of them aren’t sure how to support you in business either.

September 6th, 2010 | 12:06 PM

Well I’m a baby boomer, have very little techie knowledge and new to blogging but I really love social media. I think some of it may come down to our personality as I love chatting to people and writing so it is a discipine on Twitter to get it all in when I don’t have too many characters to get it all said lol
By getting involved in a community it can only enhance your presence in the blogosphere and I much prefer it to even emailing now. Needs to be relevant or we will put ppl off….just like the salesperson who only sees you as $$$’s for their business. I love that blogging is relational and social so win-win for me. Then when you have built up relationships the recommendation of products should not then be so hard….or so the theory goes. I’m still working on building up my traffic before I monetize my blog.
Patricia Perth Australia

September 6th, 2010 | 4:20 AM

Patricia, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with monetizing your blog a little bit from the start because you have a main topic, that being lavender. As to the rest of it, social media isn’t going away, but I can see why some folks my age or older just aren’t ready to embrace it.

September 6th, 2010 | 12:03 PM

Mitch, I loved your animate .gif mate, although it did take my attention from the post a little, but not so much as the one on cleavage. 😀

Honestly I don’t take part in a lot of the media marketing other than twitter, and ever since TweetDeck started playing up I haven’t done much of that either. Of them all I find Twitter the best, and that’s probably because it’s so easy to do.

I’ve joined FaceBook, MySpace, Linkedin etc. but I rarely update any of them.

What I do try and do though, and I reckon that it’s a great form of media marketing is dropping in on blogs and leaving something of myself behind.

September 6th, 2010 | 9:36 AM

Blogging is your way of participating in social media, Sire, and I’ve seen your tweets where you’re promoting other people’s blogs. I’m still wondering why TweetDeck is picking on you right now.

Yeah, I didn’t think I’d detract you as much as the cleavage post; I know what you like! lol

September 6th, 2010 | 12:07 PM

People who don’t knows internet, is afraiding from social networks too. Because they don’t know how to use it, and how to earn from it. Goverments should be improve encouragement for internet use.

People should try social networks.

September 6th, 2010 | 1:28 PM

Some really good points there Mitch! Great blog overall, thanks for sharing!

September 7th, 2010 | 6:10 AM

Yes, people have all kinds of excuses not to get started in something…

No money to start a home biz….try getting a job and paying for babysitters,gas,work clothes,lunches…

No time for social media…turn off the TV, stop checking your email for funny jokes, quit playing FARMVILLE on Facebook…

Don’t know what to do….

Um…Google it!

September 8th, 2010 | 8:03 AM

Good stuff, Carolee. I was talking to a guy today and I recommended that sometimes you just have to do it.

September 8th, 2010 | 9:32 PM

Hi Mitch,

In my sphere I seem to market to the same type of people. It seems they just don’t get social media. Honestly for the longest time I didn’t either. I focused most of my efforts early on, on things like ppc and other expensive marketing methods.

Finally I realized that social media isn’t about selling it is what it is. And that is to just be a good conversationalist.

September 11th, 2010 | 3:05 PM

Great stuff, Larry. Sure, there can be a marketing component to social media, like how I’m trying to market my seminar on October 2nd, but in general it’s about people and conversations and relationships.

September 11th, 2010 | 4:54 PM