Social Media has become a buzzword used in as many meaningless ways as SEO often is, to make folks sound smarter, to make someone sound like they’re ahead of the curve, etc. (maybe this blog should be called “Buzzwords Piss Me Off”). For every hundred people claiming they “do social media” only a tiny handful have the slightest clue.
I was listening to the audiobook for UnMarketing by Scott Stratten on the drive back from my Honeymoon this past weekend (I highly recommend it, it’s even in paperback now). What I love about UnMarketing is that Scott didn’t write a book about Social Media, he wrote a book about integration, about customer service, about – as he declared it – “UnMarketing” vs. traditional “throw advertising at it” tactics to growing a business.
For as much love and respect as Scott gets, I’d wager too few people who rep his book have actually read the thing. Forgive me if this is you, but I’d wager more often than not books like Scott’s get skimmed for what few buzzwords they do contain and just enough wisdom is pulled out to be later quoted out of context or simply ignored.
Why buy UnMarketing if you’re just going to ignore it? Why buy Rework if you’re just going to make things more complicated than they have to be? Why quote Gary Vaynerchuck if you’re not going to hustle? Why attend a Dave Ramsey event only to go out that night and put your dinner on a credit card?
A couple years ago I’d felt snubbed by a client who’d started having success with their social media campaign but publicly gave credit to their internal team when it was our efforts that started driving actual traffic to their site vs. simply gaining likes or actionless retweets. They’d never seen a return on those efforts until they followed our plan and started creating content of SEO value, shared it via these social channels, and what a shock, their traffic increased to the praise of their advertisers.
I was told, “I don’t understand the problem, we’d been doing this social media stuff for years”. It is at a moment like that where you want to bash your head against a wall because you know that to many people, MOST people, Social Media IS the tactic, it is a check box on a product, “Did we spam people about it?” You betcha! Check!
Success with Social Media isn’t about spamming people with your blog feed, or asking silly questions so the responses you get will help boost your Klout score (don’t even get me started on Klout), Social Media is a CHANNEL not a tactic. Social Media is a channel just like how you answer the phone, how your website looks, how your employees treat your customers, these are all channels for creating great experiences.
It’s not about Twitter and Facebook!
Just yesterday we mentioned to a potential client that social shares would help their SEO and they responded with “oh we don’t think we need a social media campaign, we can’t imagine anybody tweeting or facebooking our stuff.”
THIS IS YOUR FAULT SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE! You created this! Shame on you!
People have been sold packages of “we will tweet for you for X dollars per month” and what they’ve come to see this as is “We will make up irrelevant crap and post it for you, using HootSuite”. It reminds me of the old directory spin SEO packages – which to be fair, we still get e-mails from India offering all the time – they didn’t work, and neither does posting mindless crap twice a day and calling it a marketing tactic!
Social Media is becoming the dirty word that SEO was that caused SEOs to migrate to Inbound Marketing as a heading instead of simply SEO. Because it’s hot, but vague, people are making money on the ignorance of others, and what we’re left with is businesses who think that curating irrelevant crap on a Facebook wall is social media.
Spoiler Alert: It’s not!
Social Media is to business, what the projector is to a film. If you don’t have a story worth telling, it certainly won’t be worth sharing, and no one is going to link to you.
Be interesting, add value, grow a pair, or just stop pretending.