My Marketing Thing

What if you don’t like social media?

Social media-free island cartoon

 

The words 'I don't like social media' have been whispered to me in dark alleys by strangers wearing mysterious hats and dark glasses. After the confession they scurry away in shame. I am left wondering what on earth has happened to our society.

 

It's okay not to like social media.

There, I've said it.

Claims such as: 'If you don't like social media then you don't understand how to use it' are bandied about by loudmouthed online marketeers who want to make sure you feel like life isn't worth living if you're not spending at least 80% of your day on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, youtube, google+ and/or pinterest (and preferably buying their products that teach you their 'secrets' to online success). My confession: I often find these highly popular people as boring as bat shit.

Irony note: I do recognise that blogs are a form of social media and that if you are reading this and enjoying it so far, then you are enjoying social media. But unless you comment on this article, it's really just an online article. Social media is about being social – i.e. interacting.


It's okay if you do like it

Of course, many find social media enjoyable for social purposes – regardless of whether any income is generated from it. If you are one of these souls, then good for you. Soak it up and revel in it. But if you're not…

 

It's okay not to want to understand social media.

I know. Talk about going out on a limb. But this is for those who are so repulsed by the notion of social media. That even the idea of trying to work out all the ins and outs for their business sends them into a depressive spiral. If this is you, I want you to know it's okay.

 

Do you really need social media?

It depends on your business. If you are a massage therapist, for example, and really just need ten to twenty good ongoing local clients to achieve your business goals then blitzing on social media everyday may not be imperative. There are other ways of marketing to your local community. But if you have an online store and want to attract thousands of customers, then investing some energy in social media makes sense.

Confession: I haven't pushed social media hard for myself as I always seem have enough clients to keep me busy. But when I create product to sell on this site and my other 'things' (My Burnout Thing and My Cartoon Thing), I will be ramping that side of my strategy right up.

 

So what's the answer?

If your business begs for decent social media presence, I have a few suggestions. All of them require identifying and focusing on exactly who you want to reach. In other words, decide who your ideal client/customer is and keep focused on connecting with them. Social media has a habit of luring our attention down all kinds of rabbit holes.

Remember: Quality counts. And I don't just mean the content you are posting. It's more useful to have 100 loyal followers that actively talk about you to potential customers than thousands that don't really care.

  1. Start with one platform and go steady
    But which one? This depends on your target market. Women are the user demographic for pinterest by far and still pip the post on facebook. Men are more enthusiastic about Google+ and Reddit. Find out more through Mashable's latest spacey social media demographic diagram. Hubspot have a social media report on demographics by industry. Once chosen, try 10 minutes a day on it – this might be all you need to do. Remember not to promote yourself too hard – give useful information away and talk about others that are possibly useful and/or interesting to your target market. Tip: subscribe to Google Alerts for content online that you can post about.

  2. Hire someone to do it for you
    Some believe (passionately) this is a bad idea. Social media is about personal connections – therefore you are the only one who can post comments. But I know people who have hired social media virtual assistants and the secret is in the guidelines you set and the regular briefing sessions you have with them. I also helps if they already have some experience with your industry.
     
  3. Affiliate with others who are active on social media
    If you are not ready to have a social media profile then consider joining forces with someone who is – another business you genuinely want to support who is also relevant to your target market. Example: a photographer could team up with a florist to promote wedding services. The photographer could promote the florist in a snail mail campaign or during a presentation at an event. The florist could promote photographer on social media.

 

Any other ideas?

Are you having trouble getting your head around social media? Share with us your feelings about it. What are your experiences…or non-experiences.

 

This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who – at the moment – prefers working on her novel than disappearing into the facebook vortex. Find out more about Megan.

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