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Stop wasting time and money on bad social media marketing

The concept of “Social Media” was inspired by a bunch of very clever people who understood that if people were provided with an environment that enabled them to connect and share information easily, that it would proliferate like wild-fire in a relatively short space of time.

Popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ are given away for free to anyone willing to go online and register on these social networks. Anyone hoping to “monetise” these platforms spends a lot of time and money promoting and marketing the benefits to the general public, and memberships are increasing at a phenomenal rate. This is all well and good, but here is the catch:

Bad information spreads quicker than good information

It is a known fact that bad information spreads quicker than good information because people in their very nature prefer sharing bad news than good. Look at the media. If you turn on the news or pick up a newspaper, you are bombarded with news headlines detailing bombings, murders, rapes and the list goes on. People love bad news.

What does this mean for a business? When a customer has a good experience, they will tell their story and it will be heard by some people. If a customer has a bad experience, it will be heard by all. There was the Mc Donald’s debacle where it created a hashtag and encouraged people to share the “good” Mickey D experience. That turned out to be a disaster because the exact opposite occurred!

You are at the mercy of the public’s fickleness

When I was in my 20s we had our favourite watering hole we would frequent on a Friday evening. Everyone would be there and the establishment in question thrived, however, it was short-lived. As soon as a better pub restaurant opened down the road, everyone was gone! People are not loyal and as soon as someone moves, everyone eventually follows.

What does this mean for your business? You invest all your marketing dollars and effort into a particular social network and a new social network is created and marketed aggressively. Before long, the demographic you are targeting are no longer there!

Do not ever believe the “numbers”

It amazes me about how people are swayed by exaggerated numbers. If the benefits of email were to be marketed right now, you would be presented by an astounding statistic in terms of how many people use email and how many emails are sent in one second. What you will not hear is how many email accounts are dormant, how any email accounts are owned by the same person and how many emails sent are spam.

What does this mean for your business? If you use any one of the multitude of social networks that are available out there, it will not take long before you realise that it is not as simple as creating “content”, sharing it and expecting wonderful results. If you are using Twitter, for example, the majority of Twitter accounts are not even owned by people. Many of the accounts that start following you are not doing so because they want to buy something from you. They are waiting for the reciprocal follow so they can start bombarding you with “spam” tweets. As with email, there are millions of dormant accounts, more one way broadcasts than conversations taking place and a heck of a lot of spam!

What is the bottom line?

Social media can work for your business but take heed of the points mentioned above. Remember that everyone is in it to make money and this includes the stakeholders of all the social networks (they didn’t develop these for the greater good of mankind). Social media specialists, purveyors of reputation management applications and the millions of people out there selling everything under the sun. Find a seasoned social media marketing specialist that has been around for a while who can take you on a positive social media marketing journey. With the right planning, preparation and execution, you may not necessarily waste your time and money of social media, if you do it properly.