I speak to thousands of people each year about social media marketing at various conferences and keynote presentations. Business owners, professionals, marketers, communications experts, retailers, professional service providers, real estate agents, insurance brokers, restaurant owners, nightclub promoters and just about everyone in between is excited to learn about social media marketing.
In all of my speaking and training these are the five most common “light bulbs” that go off during my presentations and training sessions.
1) I didn’t know what I didn’t know
While many of our participants are new, some already have a blog, twitter account or Facebook page. They think that they mostly “get it” but they sign up for our course because they aren’t getting the results they wanted.
When they leave, they usually realize that they approached it all wrong. Social media marketing isn’t as simple as creating a fan page or a twitter account. It is about strategy and execution. These require more thought than most businesses consider.
If you are using social media for your business, you’ve made a smart choice by reading this, but please take the time to invest in your strategy. Read as much as you can and learn from the best. There is lots of information available online.
2) Social Media is not about creating accounts it is about content
Many businesses focus on creating accounts across sites and not on the content that they will actually use on each site.
Social media is about content and connections. Create meaningful content that adds value to your target audience. That is the key to social media. Most businesses spend almost no time focusing on the content that will actually be the substance or meat of their efforts.
Creating accounts isn’t really that hard. The hard part is figuring out what to do with them. We have developed specific strategies to help businesses build powerful content that drives results.
3) Don’t confuse activity with results
Many businesses confuse activity with results.
– “Is your current social media working?”
– “what are your results?”
– “we have lots of fans”
– “can you tie that back to a real business result? do people in your store say there are there because of Facebook or Twitter? Are you getting engagement?”
– “ummmm – we have lots of fans….”
The reality is that an impression is not an impression unless it makes on. That means that you are only reaching people if they actually see and respond to your conent. Just creating it and publishing it isn’t worth anything.
4) You Can’t Afford to Ignore Social Media
Trust me, whatever your business line you can’t afford to ignore social media. Social media is here to stay and is growing like crazy. If your business needs more sales and customers, social media is the way to get it.
If you don’t have the time or the money to invest in your business to make it happen you probably won’t be in business or aren’t serious about it. This is becoming the cost of entry. Like having a website (and if you don’t already have one, you need one – email us and we’ll connect you with someone) it is a basic expectation.
Social media is how businesses are growing these days – if you are struggling with your business maybe it is time to re-evaluate your strategy…..
5) Social Media isn’t really Free
Many businesses are excited about social media because they think it is free. The reality is that it takes time and effort. To do it right you should be prepared to invest in learning the tools of the trade.
Imagine if it was free to run TV commercials. The airwaves would be flooded with crappy commercials, recorded with a flipcam with no real strategy behind them. Most companies wouldn’t see results.
Since TV isn’t free brands invest a lot of money in the strategy and production to make sure that they have effective commercials that get returns.
The same is true with social media. It is free to create an account but there is a lot of clutter. You need to stand out and have a strategy that really connects. You need to know your customers and commit the time and energy to learn about them.
The good news is that this is MUCH cheaper than producing TV commercials. Take the time and do it right. Don’t spin your wheels not getting it right.