The Sugar Rush

 

THE TRUTH:

‘Paid for social media does work’

I’m a huge supporter of utilising social media to push messages to customers. Simple tools in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow my clients to accurately target customer groups and demographics. For lead generation, and depending upon the product I can tell you that the average CPC is far lower than traditional PPC. All channels have their places, but using established social media accounts to target genuine customers does work.

Do you really need to have a finger in every single pie? Research them all yes of course, but be careful how much time you invest, and if they don’t work for you don’t continue to waste your time and money. Don’t dig the same hole deeper.

There’s the truth, so here’s a bunch of stuff that will deflate the myths that social media is free or easy…
 

A COMMON SENSE LIE:

‘You must be authentic’

Talk to people as though they are real people. Duh!

That’s not a social media thing. That’s not even a business thing. That’s just common sense. It’s obvious that you should act like you care about customers, because of course you do.

Maybe sharing a little more about yourself so people can connect with you as an individual and empathise could help. But there’s a fine line. They don’t want to hear about what you ate last night. Especially what you’re eating right now.
 

A LIE THAT INFLATES YOUR EGO:

‘Fans = Success’

Acquiring ‘fans’ isn’t a business goal, unless you’re a fashion/pop star. Revenue and sales are the goal for businesses. Engage with your customers, build an appropriate following, then work towards conversion.

Layer in additional tactics to leverage what you already have (like website visits, fans, or an email database) and continuously re-engage with these people to drive repurchases and referrals.

One of the most effective uses of capital is through remarketing to existing site visitors or customer lists that are already engaged with your brand at some level.

And you’re able to get the most out of existing information you already own, without a ton of extra work on your part, just by leveraging Facebook’s peerless ability to match demographics, and then create custom audiences. I do it every day and it works.
 

THE BIGGEST LIE:

‘Social media is free’

Unfortunately for all of us, social media effort can add up to being one of the most expensive things we get involved in. Here you’re paying for time and that time is becoming increasingly more expensive.

Social media demands strategy, content creation, community management, audio & visual, design, optimisation and analytics. It’s a grind with little support, and sometimes very small budgets. Then there’s the internal cost of managing or coordinating campaigns, interfacing with other departments, educating teams, and producing detailed reports to justify what exactly you do on a daily basis.

How about just going viral campaigns? Well, a single viral video could set you back £20,000… there are many video producers out there who quote for CPM so look them up. On the high end? How about £7,000,000+? Remember the Red Bull Stratos campaign? One of the most successful of all time. And the most expensive.

If you are primarily concerned with growing revenue (like most businesses are), then most of the time it’s actually more cost effective to funnel resources (i.e. money) into advertising (see the start of this article) as opposed to endless and circuitous community management.
 

A LIE THAT WILL WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY:

‘You must be on xxxx it’s the new thing!’

Please, please, do your research.

In 2011 the average large company in the US had 178 corporate-owned social media accounts. That’s insane when you think about it. Especially considering the costs we just explored.

The best way to simplify and get results (instead of wasting money) is to analyse your own customer demographics and preferences. For example, if SnapChat is a just a bunch of ‘millennial girls/boys’, and your ideal customer personas are middle aged millionaires, then just forget about it very very quickly. Double down on what is actually working, or what might work – when you’ve done your research obviously.

Looking cool and trendy will sap your budget fast and the ROI might be minuscule, so think about it long and hard before deciding where to start spending your money.
 

BORDERLINE LIE:

‘Social media has changed marketing forever’

Consumer behavior has evolved exponentially over the last decade. We want more. We expect more. And we demand more. But when it comes to reaching, connecting, and nurturing – good marketing principles still apply.

Social media hasn’t changed the fundamentals of marketing at all. It’s just provided some new distribution and communication options, and that is the difference. So for the 4C’s – Consumer Wants / Cost / Communication / Convenience it’s probably true. The difference now between engagement and marketing is that they just aren’t the same, so be careful who/what in your organisation takes control of your media, and how you align the two.

New tactics, tools and platforms pop-up every single day. People continue to develop and use these things in ways that we can’t yet imagine. But that doesn’t mean the frameworks and systems we’ve used successfully for decades are broken or don’t apply. They just need to evolve.

There’s been a theme in recent years that ‘social media manager’ type positions are in decline. That’s not because it’s getting any less important, just that these roles are being absorbed into ‘traditional’ roles. As more companies have begun to understand how social media works, these social media skills are essential now for most marketing, communications, and customer service positions.

The New Social Media Trendy Kid on the Block means well. But they’re just lacking in a few important things (like perhaps… actual marketing experience?). Tactics and channels will come and go, but don’t lose site of the big picture strategy and stay the course. Because otherwise you run the risk of ending up draining your resources.
 

SO WHAT’S THE RUSH?

Treat your social media and digital marketing like one big candy bag and you’ll lose focus, and lots of money. If you take one thing from this article then let it be do your research, dive deep into what you are already doing, do your own analytics, and check your audience demographic. You may already be making big mistakes that you don’t know about

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