In his last article, Jonathan wrote about the misunderstanding in social media marketing: The expectation of marketing success coming with the push of a red button.
And you only need someone to show you where that red button is and how to push it.
But as always: It is not that easy.
I have been thinking if my take on this problem is going to add to Jonathan’s article – enough to write my own piece. And even if the above sentence applies to both our articles, I think this one really adds another perspective.
There are several reasons why pushing that magic red button cannot be enough in social media marketing and why this assumption leads so many people into believing social media marketing would not work for them. And eventually failing with their marketing.
Let me make this clear: If Social Media Marketing does not work for you (yet), this only means that you either gave up too early or you got it all wrong.
You need to be persistent
Many people give up on social media marketing far too early. If you start out with social media your accounts are still small, the number of people you can reach is almost nothing, the amount of great content you have to share is insignificant, and your brand has almost no recognition.
The path to success in social media marketing means to build something: A reputation, an audience, trust and a brand. Do you really think these could be built with the push of a button?
Many new marketers give up before they can see the impact their efforts could make before results even are measurable. They might be standing only a few steps away from impact, but they never know it.
Your marketing effort needs to be bigger when you are smaller
The hard fact is: The amount of work you need to invest to get your social media marketing on the path to success is much more than it is going to take you to keep it running.
When you are new to the social media space, to even reach a handful of readers or attract a couple of followers you need to hustle like hell. When one of the marketing influencers wants to reach hundreds or thousands of readers, they simply publish a post and share it with social media. Because they already succeeded in building an audience and a brand. But they did not start out like that. Even the biggest influencers had a time when they had to hustle like hell to get noticed. But they did it and grew their audience, reputation and brand – until marketing for them became part of their life and marketing success seems to be a given.
In social media marketing, the sad truth is: To grow you need to put in a lot of work at a time when your results are (still) low. Once you are on your path to success and your results are on the rise, you can either decide on putting in less effort to reach the same amount of success – or spend something extra on being more creative and grow to even more success.
There is no cookbook with a secret recipe
If you are looking for a step by step guide to marketing success, it can only take you so far. The real success comes with understanding mechanisms and adjusting the methods to your special needs and audience and adding a little creativity and innovation from your perspective.
The biggest success in social media marketing does not come with following rules and doing what everybody else does or has been doing for ages. The hard truth is: Often when methods and mechanisms become common knowledge they are often already yesterday’s news and by far not working as well anymore as when they were invented. For the real success, you will have to have the courage to try new things and evolve with your marketing.
Social media can work for you. Here is the step-by-step advice you need to grow reliable traffic from social media: “The Social Traffic Code!”
Marketing success cannot be built in three days of consulting
Maybe as a consultant I should not write this. And maybe I am misleading you here. Of course three days – or even an hour – with an experienced marketing consultant can work wonders in getting you on the right track. But still you need to build marketing knowledge within your company. You need to grow with your company and your social media marketing success. A consultant who does not stay on board for a long time can optimize your accounts and activity, give you tips on best practices and even provide you with some ideas for more innovative marketing activity.
But in the end, your success needs time to evolve and mature. A consultant can accompany in this process, but he cannot set your path with a few days of consulting and then all you have to do is follow the steps he set.
Social Media Marketing needs a face
If you want to outsource your marketing, that is fine if you have the money to do it. But keep in mind that social media marketing is also about connecting with
people. You as founder or CEO are the face of the company in many aspects. To keep you out of the marketing activities and hand marketing over to someone else (outside the company) means you are missing an opportunity.
Having a face to your company and brand means you have a headstart with brand building. Anonymous company accounts can never make up for a (human) face for your company. While a marketing expert can bring you added value through his knowledge and experience, you have something to add, no external expert can ever give you, no matter how much you pay: Yourself.
And believe it or not, people rather connect to people in social media than to accounts. It pays off to have someone directly in your company giving a face to your company’s social media accounts.
Many young companies concentrate on developing a product and think they are either going to buy marketing or their great product will somehow magically go “viral”. It is not going to happen. The truth is, marketing success is hard work, persistence and willingness to learn. You have to plan marketing as part of building a company, and you have to expect it to take time. Social Media marketing cannot be switched on by pushing a red button, and neither can you expect others to push that red button for you.
While you can “buy” a certain amount of success, it is rarely the case that companies have enough money to make up for lack of real marketing virtues.
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