Posted by Mitch Mitchell 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.