There’s something I want you to hear me out on. First, let’s do something that hardly ever, ever happens in social marketing and make a couple of generalizations (insert friendly sarcasm here).
There are – generally speaking – two schools of thought I observe in the world of Inbound Marketing today:
School of Thought #1 – Social Media Marketing is about the numbers. The amount of likes, follows, and shares your pages have signifies your brand’s digital worth. If you can get the attention of a few people, you’ll eventually get the attention of a few more, and the sales will trickle down in this manner. Let’s call this “trickle down social media marketing”.
School of Thought #2 – In contrast, social media marketing is about quality leads and authenticity. Showcasing your brand through expert content and an expert, novel voice ensures that your company/organization will stand out, instead of blending in to the vast competition. In some cases, you may not have as many followers if you hire a marketer from School of Thought #2 as you do from School of Thought #1, but attention to detail breeds targeted marketing. The followers, shares, and likes that your brand does get are people who are actually interested in moving further down the funnel with your brand – or at the very least, window shopping your brand for a while.
Yes, I’m of the 2nd school of thought, myself, but I’ve seen plenty that are happy over at School #1. Unfortunately, there are beliefs that are both part of my online marketing and writing background and my personal background, too, that will always, always keep me in Camp #2.
- My belief in the efficacy of value proposition and uniqueness in marketing and business. There is nothing more valuable in marketing and advertising, especially in today’s marketplace, than displaying the uniqueness of what your company does, who your people are, and what you stand for. Only with custom content, care, time, and patience, does your authenticity really sell itself to your customers – especially online customers. Your audience is smart – and they can smell BS from a mile away.
- My belief in the value of the customer experience. Again, customers are just way too smart and involved in the sales funnel these days to not be the centerpiece of your online strategy. They want real substance, real thought leadership, and real help. High quality content and a real plan to connect with your audience through your social media accounts will keep your customers happy and provide high quality leads.
- My commitment to quality work. I want to feel good about my work – and part of that is doing work that really matters, work that really has an impact for me and my clients. Setting up robo messages once a month after a few moments of writing off-target messaging is not what I’m all about – but it’s common on the professional social media market today.
Somehow, I can’t square with auto-generated messages and replies, and even worse, auto accounts, with quality marketing and quality leads.
When I talk about marketing tactics that don’t have any sense of authenticity, they include:
- Using hashtags that don’t make sense for the branding or messaging – but are popular on a given platform
- Posting about irrelevant topics that don’t apply to the audience, but are popular topics or interesting news stories to the general population.
- Not taking the time to understand the industry, company, and brand a marketer is working with.
- Setting up auto accounts that you think are really talking to you – but really, it’s just a previously set-up message.
- Marketing that never really sees a human’s eyes or gets a human’s touch.
- Blogs that are written by auto-generating software.
- Spamming of any kind.
- Seeking any followers possible – even if they are not quality followers or it doesn’t make sense to waste time “doing business” with them.
Beware – the marketing agency or professional you hired may boast that they’re able to get you a certain amount of followers within a certain amount of time or can generate interest in a post, and that’ll get any business owner excited – but how do you know that their tactics really make business sense? Do you know exactly what they are doing with your money and budget, and does it align with your business goals?
One Last Thing –
Ensure that your social media or inbound marketer knows about (and has an interest) in you, your business, what you need, and ultimately, what your clients need. Writers and social media managers with a sound background in branding, writing with a command of brand voice, and working on a hands-on basis with clients are the best stewards for helping you get quality leads for your company.
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