Social media and social networking are probably taking over your business, to some extent. You are probably wondering how to do it, where to do it and how much of it to do, right?
Join the club. Many businesses are wondering the same thing and, sadly, many are taking on more than they can chew because they are watching (reading, listening to) some of the wrong people ‘show them the way’ – people who say it can be quick, easy and automated.
Times, they are a-changing! And social media has changed a lot in recent years.
Social networking is no longer about being the loudest (I once said you had to be loud to be heard), the brashest, the most ‘in your face’ or the one with the most memorable gimmick. It’s no longer about being the first or being the one with the daftest YouTube video or the most annoying jingle.
Like any marketing strategy, social media (social networking – whatever you choose to call it) needs to be a balanced approach that builds a ‘fanbase’ of people who like your business and are interested in what you’re doing and what you say. Nothing complicated about it. Nothing to get all hyped up for or hot under the collar about.
Let’s say, for example, you are a car mechanic and blog about restoring 1970s Ford Cortinas. No hype is going to help you build your fanbase. No amount of “put your social media on auto-pilot” is going to get you known in the right way. Sure you might boost your numbers but real engagement (and success – depending on what success is to you) is the result of being active, honest and ‘straight’ with your readers.
It’s not about hype. It’s not about having annoying “like me before you see my stuff” or “subscribe now before its too late” and all that BS. Having a balanced and genuine (honest) approach to your social networking is not about being in anyone’s face and it is unlikely to have an annoying jingle (okay, maybe it could have).
When I find someone who seems to know what they are talking about (via a search or a link someone shared), if the first thing I am confronted with is “subscribe now to learn more for FREE” or “click LIKE to get my amazing video NOW” I am instantly turned off! No, it does not float my boat and, from the conversations I’ve had recently, regardless what all the ‘gurus’ and self-proclaimed ‘experts’ are saying, all this “Like me! Like me! Like me! and get my stuff” is not floating many boats out there…
I’m sure someone must have published an internet marketing book called “how to annoy the crap out of your potential customer” and far too many people read it.
But, The Social Networking Book Said So!
The only people who benefit from titles like “Quick and Easy Social Media Marketing” are the people selling tickets to their workshops.
The only people who make money from titles like “Get to the top of Google with Easy SEO Tricks” is the dude who wrote the book and subsequently set-up a forum membership costing his book readers £20 a month to have their questions ignored (yes, I knew that guy).
The only people winning from titles like “Social Networking Secrets You Absolutely MUST Know” is the author who tells you how being successful on Facebook is easy – as long as you are in a very popular (mass) niche market.
Restoring 1970s cars is not a mass market. Writing a blog for people who grow potatoes in allotments in the north of England is not going to make you a social media success story compared to the guy talking about how to make your kid a better football player.
When you think about it, it’s obvious. But they (authors, speakers, workshop presenters) don’t tell you that on the back of the book you bought or on the sales pitch for the workshop, do they?
Every business is different. Everyone of us is different. Every ‘target market’ is different and they all respond differently.
No single book can dictate the winning formula for any type of business. A good business book will teach anyone some new ideas, but suggesting that one book or one workshop or one set of “quick tips” is going to work for every type of business is BS (IMO). I should know; I’ve read many of them and followed a lot of people who sell that stuff over the years.
Be honest, be genuine, be interesting (and interested), be consistent. And do what you love.
Unless what you want to do can be done consistently and with honest passion for what you do, there’s really not much point starting. Consistently could be a case of one blog every week or it could simply be a monthly video and photos of a restoration job. At the end of the day, nothing will happen without some work on your part.
Anyone who said it can be quick and easy, and can all be on auto-pilot is living in cloud cuckoo-land where they are so lazy and expect an app to do everything for them. They prey on people who believe the hype (that an app can make everything quicker, easier and profitable). They assume the rest of us are afraid of hard work too. When, in fact, many of us are more than happy to do some work, get our hands dirty and earn a living… Aren’t we?
I can teach search engine optimisation, I can teach how to put a social networking (social media) strategy together that will work for your business - no matter how big or small, I can teach you how to manage your social networking strategy in the amount of time you have available. But I can guarantee 3 things:
1. It won’t be quick.
2. It won’t be easy.
3. It won’t be put on auto-pilot.
But, I must confess, I am not selling an ebook, trying to get signups for a workshop and not saying I have a secret you must know in order for your business to succeed.