It is not uncommon that when I meet with prospective clientele for the first time about their social media marketing efforts they are beyond frustrated. Defeatism, by definition, is the acceptance of or resignation to the prospect that any continued effort to succeed is futile. When a CEO or business owner has the defeatist attitude that marketing can’t possibly generate a positive ROI, then this becomes the primary barrier for a marketing strategist to overcome.
To build a successful program for any business, I begin by determining what past efforts have proven to bring in clientele and drive profits. By analyzing those past efforts and productive methods, we can see how they can be further leveraged to produce even higher returns.
When I inquire what their business has been doing with social media, I usually hear, “We have a Facebook page,” “We have a Twitter account,” “I have a LinkedIn profile, but I don’t really use it.” This is similar to, “I have a hammer, but it never builds anything.”
This all too common situation is due to the fact that the vast majority of business professionals do not know HOW to use social media as a marketing tool, much like not knowing how to use a hammer in building a home.
Your Blog Is The Best Foundation For Social Media
Your house is built on a foundation and so is social-media success. Unless you are willing to create content (DIY or by hiring someone to create it for you), you will never experience the exposure and new business that social media can generate. Social media is a channel to reach a thinking human being, so it necessitates that you put something of value on that channel. Otherwise you are doomed, posting only famous quotes, funny cat videos or photos of your recent fishing trip.
Engaging in social media for your business without having as your foundation a blog that forwards educational, entertaining or engaging content results in wasted effort, time and expense.
Here’s a simple analogy regarding social media success: Blog – your magazine or newsletter; Social Media – the mailing list of subscribers. If your magazine or newsletter is dynamic and on-point, people will find it of interest and read it. If you mail that interesting magazine or newsletter to a long list of people who want that information, you will achieve success.
This is the essence of doing content management correctly. And over time, your subscribers will look forward to the next issue and re-subscribe year after year. Believe me when I say that if your business were generating a ton of great content and sending that content to a ton of people, you would be making a whole bunch of money. Why?—Because so few of your “competitors” are doing what I am now telling you needs to be done. They are just as confused or inactive as you are.
Liberate Yourself From Huge Expectations
Social media is not the magic silver bullet, nor will it give you instant sales. If you go into social media thinking, “I will do X and then I will instantly get Y,” you will be disappointed. But if you go into social media with a giving spirit, built on the foundation of a content-rich blog, you’ll be surprised at how many times that approach will reap benefits. Be patient, create great content regularly, give help and advice, and grow your list of followers, fans and subscribers. The ROI will come back to you eventually.