By now everyone and their dog knows I love social media. I gave up my full time job at a national law firm to pursue my passion and it’s pretty incredible to do what you love (and get paid). But, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns as some portray. Like any other job, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and consistent engagement. Social media marketers come a dime a billion these days and you must differentiate yourself. Or die trying! Here are my top five lies about social media:
1. Social media is free. This is one of the biggest misconceptions of them all. Social media is NOT free. First, it takes time. The last time I checked time equals money right? Even if you decide to keep your social media marketing in-house you will always be paying someone to monitor your accounts. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are free (unless you have premium accounts) but you need to quantify the time invested in learning about these tools, and how to use them properly. If you decide to use an outside digital marketing company for your social media endeavors, be cautious of anyone that gives you a quote up front without a conversation first. You get what you pay for in this business!
2. You need influencers. Sure it’d be nice to have Justin Bieber tweet about your new product and/or service to over 20 million followers, but you don’t need influencers to be your brand advocate. One of favorite peeps, Danny Brown, said it best:
“the influencer will only share your brand or product for reward. Hard cash, or a large mount of swag (sign me up please!). They’ll write about you once, and then move on to the next brand.”
He goes on to talk about brand advocates. These are the people who love your products and services and they love to write about it even more. I was one of these people for a local hair shop that guaranteed a fully styled, fully dry head of hair in 30 minutes. Anyone that can do that to my mane is perfect in my mind. I told everyone I knew about how amazing these guys were. I wrote online reviews, told my friends and I continue to use their service today.
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3. You’re guaranteed a new client within X amount of days. The bottom line is important. We all want to land new clients through Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and LinkedIn and Pinterest. But you should be very weary of someone that says they can get you a new client through social media in two days, two weeks or any time period for that matter. Digital marketing can help your business in a multitude of ways. It will increase brand mentions across the web, create communities based around your products or services and yes, it can bring in new business. But there isn’t a set timeline. It takes dedication, consistency and skill.
4. You need to be happy all the time. There are no rules when it comes to social media. Yes, you should mind your manners most of the time but feel free to act yourself once in awhile. You know why social media marketers get a bad rap most of the time? It’s the ones that act like everything is amazing 24/7, you know the type – they make me want to run for the hills. Seriously, you can’t be that happy all the time! Act human. We all have our ups and downs. Don’t rant about your clients and/or your relationship mishaps but feel free to vent about what gets you down. Get it out in a blog post. Other people are probably having the same issues and maybe your words will help.
5. You should give up your real life for your online life. Everyone I know online has gone through this at one point or another. We get that aha moment where everything clicks. We land our first client through a Twitter exchange, or get a referral through Facebook, and we’re hooked. Instead of setting aside a set amount of hours per day to use social media, it becomes our life. Even when we leave our house, we’re checking in online through our smart phones. This is when your real life relationships start to fail. You know those people that check their phones 55 times through dinner? Don’t become one of them. Unplug. Detach. Untether. We’ll be here when you get back, promise!
So there you have it, my top five lies about social media as told from someone that experienced every one of them at some point. Have any more to share? Please share them in the comments below.