I have spoken with a few different clients and marketing agencies over the last few weeks and want to make this comment.
Paying for Adverts on Facebook and LinkedIn is NOT social media marketing. That is Online Advertising. It is just like creating a campaign on Adwords. It stays within that network, much like Adwords stays within the Google Network.
I have heard so many companies say “we are involved in Social Media”. By the end of the conversation I find that they are posting adverts onto these networks. Take a close look at what was said…. “posting adverts”. Adverts are NOT social media. An advert is monologue. There is no interaction happening between an advert and a customer, its one way. Social Media is dialogue. It’s a two way flow of information where the customer can be the publisher, author or listener. It is very fluid and conversational.
Social media marketing means joining in on conversations, reading what people are writing about your industry and company, actioning what needs to be done, contributing your knowledge to the conversation, giving your company a personality (taking it from the company name, to the name of the person who works for that company). It’s about having your finger on the pulse of what is being said about your brand and doing something about it. Social Media is real time.
If you don’t like what is being said about your brand, don’t look at the people writing the comments, look at what is being written and do something about it. Gone are the days of marketing teams creating amazing promises and then delivering the complete opposite. These companies will be found out and will fail. Social Media is transparent, so if your brand promise and what you deliver are distant, then start looking for a new venture because it’s only a matter of time before you will be found out.
If your brand is not being spoke about, then start joining in conversations and giving your knowledge and expertise to these conversations. Actively participate in industry related groups and forums. Show peers that you do know what is happening in your industry and have an opinion. Here is the good thing. It costs nothing to do this. Just your time, your knowledge, your opinion.
Here is a simple way to know if you are using social media in business.
THINK CONVERSATION, NOT CAMPAIGN