As many of you know I do a lot of presenting on social media topics, and can be seen around Sth East Queensland at many networking events. My story today focuses on some of the feedback I get from attendees who come up to me after I have spoken, often to let me know how much they enjoyed my presentation and how differently I speak about using social media than the person they paid to help them with theirs.
This makes me sad, the problem is that too many people have gone into business and are calling themselves social media experts without understanding that knowing how to use the platforms is the easy part. Knowing how to plan your social media marketing, create measurable outcomes, and engage and grow your audience with targeted and relevant conversations that result in sales and advocacy is another matter entirely.
Here are just two of the many conversations I have had with people recently:
Epic Social Marketing Fail #1.
One new client reported that her employer hired a self styled social media expert (shudder… social media expert? my old boss used to say, X is an unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure :) ). but I digress so let’s continue. They hired a so-called, self styled social media expert charged an firm over $2000 to do a custom social media strategic plan for their company and in it was 20 pages of information copied and pasted from the internet, without any custom plan for their social media approach, no relevant stats on users in the same niche, or pertinent information on how to engage, best practice, creation of policy for their company or other actual strategy or plan.
To add insult to injury this ‘expert’ also stated at the end of the reports; “you will be the first one in your field so there are loads of opportunities and no policies or regulations in your industry.” Now these words are completely inaccurate, there are always policies and regulations for larger industries like Accounting, Law, Medical, or any other industry that must regulate private client information – ALWAYS! and the business we are talking about was in one of these niches. Not only that there were and are other companies in the same niche already using social media successfully, a point this other ‘expert’ missed completely.
This is not ok! If you don’t know marketing strategy, please don’t call yourself an expert, if you don’t deliver what you promised expect not to get paid!
Epic Social Marketing Fail #2.
Another small business marketing consultant opted to ‘help out’ another new client and ‘save her from having to go to someone else’ like a real digital media strategist by taking charge of her social media while helping set up her website. Another epic fail, as the conversation I have just had with this lovely lady confirmed that the small business marketer, helped set up her page and then asked her friends to Like the new page ‘just to get you started.’ This might get you Likers it does not get you a targeted audience!
Good social marketing is done when there is a plan and a strategy customised to your keywords and your audience that engages people who will not only purchase what your business has to offer they will also advocate for you and your business based on the trust they have developed for your expertise and knowledge in your field. Your job as a social marketer is to educate your audience about who you are and what you can offer, to create conversations around your expertise and knowledge and your niche – this will engage YOUR audience and that audience will become your advocates who will help you do your marketing for you! And nothing less.
It is not how many followers or Likers you have on your profiles and pages, it is whether you have people who are interested in what you are saying, want or need what you have and want to buy from you because they have learned through conversations with you around your expertise that they can trust you to not only give them great advice, amazing customer service and quality products or services but to add value to their lives. This is what comes from targeted, strategic conversations you have on digital media
There are a lot of other complaints that come in from people these are just two of the most recent ones. Please take care about who you get to help you with your social marketing campaigns, be sure they not only know the technical side of how to use the platforms, but that they know how to market socially as well, and that takes some expertise.