As a small business (or any sized business at all for that matter) You will probably have been told recently that you must be on social media! And then you were probably told, you just need a presence online, you must build your online influence and then told you must go on a course or a workshop to learn how to do it!

The person holding the workshop has never worked in marketing or in digital media for that matter, they just dropped lucky with their email list or social media campaign once and for a business model that has nothing to do with yours. They do however know how to post an ad to facebook and use hootsuite and show you how to do it!  (wow – that’s a real good skill – excuse the sarcasm)

The social media expert holding the course has never owned a business before yet they somehow think they understand how to market yours without knowing anything about it! You have been told that if you put out so many tweets per day at a high engagement time using certain tools, people will find out about your services.

I strongly believe that the self proclaimed ‘social media expert’ to be highly delusional! They seem to feel as though they hold enormous influence without having anything thought provoking or influential to say.

I often hear of companies asking (real marketing professionals) to sort out the mess left by a. bad advice from the ‘social media expert’ or b. sort out the embarrassment caused by the ‘social media expert’ broadcasting appallingly embarrassing broadcast messages throughout the brands social media platforms.

REALITY CHECK!

Many  businesses are being ripped off with social media packages. In reality you’ll need a lot more that £400 per month to launch a marketing campaign that isn’t based around simply broadcasting messages. Yet packages are their thing. £50 a month to do some tweeting! WHAT? WHY? It’s like throwing £50 in the bin! That money would have been better spent on new stationery!

All the time that these self proclaimed ‘social media experts’ are at large, twisting the brains of trusting business owners they are costing businesses money and valuable time.

STOP!

It’s time to STOP doing social media for a moment! Forget everything that ‘social media expert’ has told you and focus on putting together a marketing campaign that includes all elements of marketing as a whole rather than just social media. In reality this can be done by looking at your business plan and deciding which type of digital marketing activity will help you get close to the customer and then the transaction.

THINK!

Social media DOES NOT work as a standalone tool, there must be other elements in the equation such as: A website, A brand, A message, Content, Data Collection, Email Marketing, SEO, PPC. In fact Social Media may not even be the right type of medium for you to market your business and you most certainly don’t have to be using all of the networks available. Think about it! 

If you take one thing away from this post, I hope it will be to look at your marketing efforts to date, measure your success and from there decide what’s working, what’s not and what else you could try. And if you find that social media has never yielded a single lead or sale then you are doing something very wrong, or could it just be that your target audience simply don’t hang out there?

Oh… and Take a long hard look at said ‘social media expert’ – what are their real achievements, where are their impressive testimonials (nowhere to be seen)? It’s one thing to raise your own profile or gain business for yourself but being able to do it for others is a whole different ball game!

What do you think?