By Ernest O’Dell – Guerrila Internet Marketing © 2012
It’s been rumored that social media is dying—and social media marketing along with it. I tend to believe some of it, but it’s dying for all the wrong reasons. If one thing is certain above anything else, social media is losing its “magic” with a lot of people.
Don’t get me wrong; there’s still a lot of people getting on the Internet and “hooking up” on places like Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. Seems like every time you turn around there’s a new social network startup invading the news. What was the latest? Google Plus?
What was once a new and improved way to keep in touch with your family and friends has just become another “sales pitch” to try and convince you buy something, or to sign up to the “latest and greatest business opportunity.” Most of the time you’ll see then masquerading as a newsletter, software product, or a service of some sort. There is no opening or closing, and the ad copy sucks—if there is any…
About the only thing you see in some of these cheesy ads is raw advertisements that is lacking any sincerity. The people advertising their products don’t give a hoot about you or your interests and needs. They’re just obsessed with the idea that you’re going to sign up and turn them into an overnight success!
Yeah, right… how long does it take you to delete the ad? Or the email?
About as quick as you can blink your eye…
What’s wrong with this picture? Could it be that the advertisements lack taste and real value? Or could it be that the people who want your business care less about who you are and what you are interested in? Or, could it just be that they’re going about it all backwards?
What most “entrepreneurs” tend to forget is that they are on the wrong side of the fence of social media. They are on the advertising end, which means without a real connection to “the people,” they’re getting nowhere—real fast. At some point in their career, you would think they would need to make a real connection to you, the prospect, and address some of your wants and needs. If they fail to established that “connection” then all their efforts to make a sale or spread the word are pointless.
Have you ever felt like you’ve “been there, done that”?
If you’ve been “spinning your wheels” and spending your money on the “latest and greatest craze” then I want you to do something. Put your wallet away, put your money away, and put your credit cards away. Today, I’m going to give you some harsh reality and “hard core truth” that’s not going to go down very well.
No one cares about you or your products and services, nor do they care about your relationships—unless you care about them…
…ESPECIALLY when it comes to social media.
Let’s say that you’ve just opened up an account with a local bank, and you’ve deposited a substantial sum of money… more than just the “minimum”. Guess what? Depending on the amount of money you’ve opened your account with, and depending on subsequent deposits, this bank is probably going to treat you like royalty. Most of the time they will be literally “jumping through hoops” to keep you happy.
However, if you open up an account with a minimum of $100 to $300 dollars, and you don’t keep much money in the account, or make regular substantial deposits, then don’t be surprised when they roll their eyes at you when you start making “demands” of them and acting like Mr. Big Shot. If you don’t have a lot of “skin in the game” at this bank, then you’re probably going to be treated nicely enough I guess, but don’t think these people are going to fawn all over you.
Well, how does this bank analogy apply to Facebook, Twitter, and social media marketing and advertising?
If you don’t have a lot to offer in the way of a relationship—FIRST—then don’t be offended when people delete you from their networks when you try to “hard sell” them something through your channels. The fact of the matter is this: you don’t like to be “hounded” by hucksters, do you? Neither does anybody else. Develop a friendship with your peeps on social media first, and then add value to that relationship, and they’ll usually come to trust your opinions or recommendations for certain products and services. And when they do, you can offer them something from which YOU will make a commission or profit.
Each day when you see those tiny red notifications on Facebook, or those constant tweets from Twitter or Klout, you’re almost sure that they signify a message from your friends or family.
Unfortunately, you open your inbox and all you see are loud advertisements. What do you do? You delete them, and you do so automatically without any interest whatsoever about what they say.
Guess what else?
So does everybody else!
Advertising gurus are no longer “gurus,” they are simply annoying spammers who have no clue what they are doing. They are clueless as to how much of an annoyance they’ve become; not only to you, but to everybody else.
A lot of business owners are completely missing the point. If their emails are getting read, it’s only by other advertisers just so they can compare tactics, methods, strategies and techniques.
Another sad part of it all is that no one is coming up with new techniques!
Everybody is following someone else who they think is successful, but in reality, no one is making any money because of their lack of effort and knowledge.
I hear this a lot from my business clients because they don’t know how to maneuver and operate in the online world of social media; which is why I manage their accounts and pages to the tune of $5,000 a year. I know five thousand dollars doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but when you have 100 or more clients paying you the same annual fee, then it’s easy to see how you can easily turn a half million dollar a year revenue stream out of it.
If they paid an advertising retainer to a big ad agency, I can guarantee you they would individually pay a whole lot more than a mere five thousand dollars a year: they would pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 50K to a million dollars a year!
Just something to think about…
If you haven’t noticed (and you most likely have), most—if not all—online entrepreneurs go about advertising their businesses in the same way:
- First, they request you as a fríend on Facebook or become a “follower” on Twitter.
- Second, some of them might greet you with “thanks for adding me to your network” or some other similar phrase.
- Third, others will jump straight to the point and start bombarding you with their “winníng” sales pitch.
Let me ask you a question: Who are you more likely to communicate with?
Nothing screams “delete” louder and faster than a sales pitch!
I think it’s rude as hell, and since I don’t know these people personally, I don’t mind “unfriending” them and blocking them as fast as I had previously connected with them.
And if you’ve been on social media for any amount of time, you probably do the same.
Some of the “thanks for the request” people might actually remain in your network, as long as they don’t jump the gun too quickly. Unfortunately, the majority of them end it right there and automatically go on a link-posting frenzy, and immediately begin flooding your wall and inbox with details about their products with no mention of how they might benefit you individually. It’s almost as if they are “demanding” that you purchase from them without any clear reason as to why, or solely based on the fact that you allowed them into your “circle of friends”.
That’s NOT how to “win friends and ‘influence people’”… unless they’re just trying to negatively influence everybody they come into contact with…
They could probably learn a lot by reading some of Dale Carnegie’s old books… ya think?
On the other hand, some people are—indeed—making sales. They are the ones who take their time in getting to know people. They ask questions and take a true interest in their prospects. Developing customer relationships is the most important part of advertising on social media because in the real world, customer relationships are a must.
It helps to wear the shoe on the other foot sometimes…
Imagine walking into a store with workers that aren’t friendly and don’t seem to have your interest anywhere in their top priorities. You’ve probably been in a few stores like that; I know I have…
You walk into a department store, find something that fits, and then you stand around looking like a “bump on a log” waiting for someone to ring up your purchase. You almost feel like you’re interrupting the kid behind the counter because they’re busy texting their friends on the phone, or they’re talking to them.
Makes you want to peel the skin off their heads and tell them, “HELLO! I’m the guy who’s writing your paycheck!”
They’re anxious for you to purchase something and then leave… so they can get back to chatting with their friends. They don’t care what you purchase or why, they just want your money. When you leave, they want you to come back over and over, even if you’re not interested in what they’ve got. It’s a horrible experience for you.
When you look at it from a different perspective, it helps to see why social media is dying for a lot of businesses. What people want is warmth and a display of interest in who they are, not lousy sales pitches. As soon as business professionals establish a connection, then they might have a chance, but until then, it’s best to just stick to more familiar means of advertising and leave social media to what it was always meant for. Bring common sense back to your marketing.
When businesses learn how to use social media properly, and drive traffic to a regular newsletter through an autoresponder series, and couple that with interactivity with blogs, Facebook fan pages, groups, and Twitter groups, then—and only then—will people begin to feel like they have a relationship with you, and they will become loyal customers… because now, you have their confidence and trust. You’ve earned it.
About The Author
Former Software Engineer, Author and Writer, turned Internet Marketer, Ernest O’Dell shows you how to use creative marketing methods to create a full time income online. Ernest is the original creator of the Guerrilla Internet Marketing system that teaches businesses how to build a Lead Capture System and convert them into income producing revenue streams. Ernest O’Dell’s primary industry base is real estate and insurance professionals, with a growing base in the health care and government agency sectors. He can be reached through his website at http://www.ernestodell.com