Social Media is NOT Free

“The notion that Social Media is free is so 2009”

From the first time I was compelled to manage multiple accounts, I immediately realized instinctively that Social Media equates to TIME.   If we have two or three hours per day to utilize social media then it works well for us.  If we have businesses to run, kids to take care of, another job, a busy practice, a staff, then Social Media amounts to prioritizing.   We may find ourselves rationalizing:  “That Social Media stuff doesn’t work”

If you are an Entrepreneur, Professional, Shop Owner, Organization, Film Director, Doctor, Blogger, Small Business, Company, ANYONE really, an important question should be:

“Can I afford to lose business by default to the Competitor?”

 

More Importantly, and this is the heart of this article:  “What tangible results has your Social Media Manager shown you today?”   Even on a Sunday.  Have they shown you a sale derived from the Internet?  Have they sent a report that your Call To Action Pages need Tweaking?  Have they issued marching orders this week about how to approach the Keywords, Topic,  and Emotional Triggers?  Are they using Social Media as a tool to drive Sales, or to collect a check from you?  Which is it?

The notion that Social Media is free is so 2009.  If you think it’s free, you are operating on yesterday’s business model.  You will lose to the competitor who is doing Social better than you.  You will not make money from Social Media.  If you think it’s free, then you can simply stop reading now,  close your Social Media Accounts, send the Intern home, and just focus on building your business the traditional way, the way you were taught in college or high school.

I am not going to write one of those “Myths Surrounding Social Media”  pieces.  This is not about subject hacking.  This is about DRIVING SALES TO YOUR BUSINESS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA.

If you want to do it right, you need a budget.   What have you included in your Business Plan for Marketing?

Do you even have a Business Plan?  If so, what have you allocated to Social Media?    If your answer is “Zero”  then you will lose business as I said, by default to the Competitor.   Remember, the “Free” model never worked.  Never will.  As long as you are of the mindset that your social is a novelty, you are unsure, skeptical, undecided, and / or you dither around? You are losing sales.   Period.  As long as you keep doing the same thing, you can always expect the same results.  Which too often is no results.

How about a Marketing Plan?  Did you know that even signing a commercial lease requires a Marketing Plan separate from your Business Plan?  Some would suggest they are one and the same.   Too many people enter the Social Marketplace thinking it’s free.  This is ridiculous.  If these words sting, they should.   It is time you tossed out your notions, and got down to action.  It is time you faced reality, and hire someone who looks at your business with a precision almost surgical eye and takes control of the process.  You need to take responsibility and start driving sales to your business today. 

Here’s the one sweet spot and saving grace.   Most Social Media Managers who’ve been hired by your competitor?  Are not up to the task, and have no clue about such things as:

Data Mining

Emotional Triggers

Sociological Profiling

Key Word Embedded Social Tactics

Engagement

Account Growth

Sales Conversions

Penetrating Niche Markets

Penetrating Local Markets

Using Social To Data Mine the Local Population

Best Social Practices

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“Lon.  You are saying, that my daughter, who has been handling my Social Media for 6 months, doesn’t know what she’s doing?  She assures me we  have a strong Social Media Brand, and she tells me we are doing great”

Let me just say this:  If your daughter is handling your social media?  Politely put her to work in another department, and let her earn her check.  She’s NOT data mining the local market for your new clients and customers.  And neither is your Intern, or that so called  self styled: Social Media Manager either ~ who was referred by your friend from church.

Millennials make great Social Media Managers don’t they?  I mean they come from the generation of Facebook and Twitter?”  WRONG!  If you are hiring based upon this premise? You are probably practicing  age discrimination, and don’t even realize it.  It’s a subconscious thing.  You are under the mistaken impression that Social is best managed by someone of a “certain age”.   Nothing could be farther from the truth.  In article last week, “7 Ways Social Media will be More Expensive This Year” Steve Radick writes:  “….social media marketing has never been free. Sure, there aren’t usually any hard costs required to set up social media accounts …….turning over your brand’s reputation to an intern isn’t always the wisest choice.”

Our brands, our businesses deserve the best, we’ll need the best to be competitive:    Someone with sales experience, a marketing portfolio, advertising writing experience, lots of social accounts under management, and real life skills.   A REAL Social Media manager  has “Reach”.

This really annoys the self proclaimed expert who’s profile has 498 Followers.  Do you want some hack managing your business?  Do you want to keep losing sales to the competitor?  If you enjoy losing sales, than hire someone who was referred to you who seems “nice”  with a couple of thousand connections.  The world of Social is based upon  “reach” – exactly why Beyonce or Timberlake have millions on Twitter.   It is a measure of their audience, whom they influence, who is paying attention.   Nice is not reach.  Nice is not even ruthless.  Nice is not going to kick your competitor off the page, and burrow into their client pool. Nice is not going to make your credit card machine click off sales.

If your Social Media Manager has no reach? Don’t expect them to agree with me.  They will rationalize that it’s the “quality not quantity” that matters.   And you know what I would say?  OK.  I won’t say it here, this is a family website.   The  “it’s the quality not quantity” argument is  pure unadulterated ignorance or negligence.   If they say that, and expect to be paid?  They are stealing from you.

I have to sum this up.   Social costs money.  Hiring a Social Manager is not something you relegate to the third or fourth level managers to figure out.  They don’t know what they are doing.  Get involved.  Find someone with experience.  Someone who is not afraid to “keep it real”  someone who is so busy, they don’t have time to take you on, because they are out making someone else rich, and driving traffic and sales to companies.   Your expenditure should increase sales, be the driver and crux of cash flow.  You need a manager who prides themselves on bringing you new clients, and gives you results not excuses, sales not reports.

In short:  There are a few of us Social Scientists, who drive sales to our client businesses daily, and we use Social Media as a  tool for burrowing into niche markets or local markets.   Very few.

 

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Lon is known as Pronetworkbuild on the Internet.  Google him.

I am ready to get started today!

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