I sat on the train on the way back to Cork on Sunday and did something I almost never, ever do because it’s so excruciatingly painful: instead of sticking to my Kindle and the current novel I’m reading about that warm ‘n’ fuzzy chap, Genghis Khan, and his jolly horde of tree-hugging New Men, I picked up discarded business magazine.
I can’t blame anyone else and I know it’s my own fault… but… when they put stuff on the front about how to supercharge your online success with Social Media Marketing I feel compelled to read it, in the same was as I’d be compelled to watch a train wreck.
And if we work on the assumption I was expecting to read a load of nonsensical codswallop from someone who has the same understanding and depth of knowledge about marketing I do about the finer points of crochet, then we can safely say I was not disappointed.
As you’d expect, the whole article was full of the latest trendy buzzwords and jargon, and constantly stressed the need for “engagement”, “likes”, “fans”, and that tired cliche “brand awareness”. Yet, even though I read the damned thing twice, I saw not a single reference to the only real point in doing all of this…
… making money!
Now, the sad thing is whatever this bozo was writing was undoubtedly correct and self-consistent within the horror of Social Media Marketing.
The big point is, though, it was completely irrelevant to anyone running a business.
There are businesses out there doing very well with Social Media Marketing, but they are few and far between and they are successful with it because they find themselves in a unique set of circumstances. One of the big mistakes I see business owners making all the time is assuming because something (often only apparently) works for one business then it means it’s going to work for every business.
That ain’t how things pan out. Sure, we can be sure the strategies of direct response marketing are going to work for us over time because they’re based on the sound principles and fundamentals of human psychology.
But the tactics are far more fickle.
Here’s a good example: one strategy is constant and relentless follow up, and the tactics I use myself are enshrined in email marketing, but this isn’t to say it’ll work just any old way you do it, and I can imagine, vastly powerful and effective though it is, if your target market is the Amish, you probably won’t do very well with it no matter how great you are.
Bottom line: the key to success is to understand the strategies and then work to figure out which tactics are going to work for you to implement them. Fortunately for us the 80/20 Principle tells us the chances are overwhelmingly in favour of Social Media Marketing being a dead duck for you.
And if you needed just one rule-of-thumb reason to tell you this is true, just remember the majority is always wrong.
In other words, if virtually everyone is doing it, and virtually everyone is struggling in business, then that’s a damned good reason to be sceptical about it.
It would be easy for me to make a shedload of money selling myself on SMM.
But I choose not to, because it would be dishonest.
That said, you can make a shedload of money from Facebook if you’re willing to learn how to use their now come-of-age advertising platform and embrace the timeless, old-fashioned, and fundamental principles of marketing. The Secret Sauce here is not the platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever.
Rather, it’s understanding how to get the right message to the right people in the right way, and at the right time. When it comes down to it, that’s all marketing is, really.
That’s one reason to help yourself to my free email series 52 Ideas to Grow Your Business FAST.