Social Media. Everyone has it. No one really knows how to use it. Everyday I hear people talk about how many followers they have. How many posts they do. That they have a Twitter, a Facebook Personal Page, a Facebook business page, a Linked In, a Xing, Pinterest and an Instagram. As my eyes glaze over I think two things: humming and a partridge in a pear tree and how the heck to you get any work done.
Social media has to have two key components: it has to be social and it has to have media. You would be surprised how many companies don’t follow that simple rule. They put up smart quotes for dumb people sitting at home on the computer who are out of work with no money who post a like. If I could put a smart phone in the hands of starving children in Africa saying “food is good” they will “like it” until the lions come home but they won’t be able to afford to eat. The reality is for most social media: who are you reaching?
Then there is the why. Most social media people don’t make the effort to include media that promotes their products or service. My favorite is when they get the least educated person in marketing and sales…like the person in the company paid to answer phones… to post to social media… which effectively makes the phone person in charge of a sophisticated target marketing campaign designed affect the company’s profit. Last I checked answering phones qualifies me to answer phones. Same thing with accounting, graphic design, word-processing and data entry. Any of these ring a bell with a skill set in copy writing, targeted selling and media flight plan execution. Hmmmm….then the well-intentioned bosses…well they scratch their heads and declare social media is a waste of time and a bust.
Would you hire your tire guy- the guy that rotates it to fix your computer? How about the next time you need your hair colored ask your lawyer. Or my favorite, when your drowning don’t text the lifeguard text the guy from the taco truck. You get my point. We all need to do what we are trained to do – and are good at.
It’s obnoxious of me to point out the obvious but that’s what I do. I am obnoxious because it cuts through all the noise today and sugarcoating your ineffective choices won’t make the phone ring.
Social media won’t work if you don’t know what you are doing. Nike is not making tennis shoes for an Octopus. Not every social media is geared toward promoting every product or service. You need to be smart with your time and your money and promote your product or service with intention to sell. You can use audio or video or photos or the written word- but it must take the form of advertising within the culture of the social media company. Yeah, social media has cultures. Here’s a shortcut:
Twitter is like a fat kid on sugar.
Facebook is like a rowdy family picnic.
Linked In is a boring business mixer.
Pinterest is Show & Tell
Instagram best I can tell is the guy flashing people in the park.
But hey, thing change and it’s my job to keep up those changes and your job to run your business. If you let me do my job and you do your job, I can show you how to use social media to get the cash register to ring.