Social Media Is Lying to You

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“If your business isn’t on social media, you’re missing the boat.”

“Facebook is so good for your business.”

“Boost your post and promote to more potential customers.”

It’s been nearly 10 years since Facebook launched to the public.  We’ve seen an explosion of an internet genre called “Social Media”.  It’s revolutionized how we connect, share and learn.  We’ve also heard the claims that Social Media is good for creating more business for you.  This is a lie.  Social Media is great at living up to it’s name; being Social.  Facebook is not good for generating real tangible transactions in business.  Why? The reason becomes obvious once I ask you a few questions.

  1. Have you ever directly made a purchase through a Facebook wall post? – It’s hard enough to get your friends to click on web pages for “votes” or “likes” and those don’t cost anything.  People visit Facebook to waste time, not money.
  2. How often do you actually click on an invite for an event? – Well, if you’re not paying attention to theirs, they certainly aren’t paying attention to yours.  Chances are, if you are saying that you are “going” to an event, it’s because you spoke to someone offline about attending.
  3. What is your first thought when you see a friend of yours is promoting something? – I bet it isn’t “I need to do my part and support them.” If they really are a friend, you are probably thinking “good for him/her.  Seems like things are going well for them.” or “Oh my god.  Enough about the Sick Puppies Already.”  Either way, the message isn’t coming across.  Your friends aren’t bragging about a gig just to brag.  They need you there.

Now that you understand your own activity on Facebook, can we safely assume that this is how the rest of social media works as well?  Based on what we know, does it matter how many people see your wall posts?  Promote all you want.  You aren’t going to generate a significant amount of transactions.  Transactions can be anything from actual purchases, attendance to an event or any actionable item like sharing, liking or commenting.

Facebook should not be how you generate transactions.  Facebook is social media.  It’s simply there to let people know what you do, where you do it and how successful you are at it.  Consider social media as a bunch of different billboards on the highway.  They aren’t going to make you act immediately, but they have planted seeds for the future.

Marketing is a complicated and sophisticated game.  You have to attack promotion from all angles.  You can’t just rely on passive marketing.  You have to use every tool available to you.  Direct emails, individual text messages, phone calls, flyers, handouts and networking are your money makers.  ABC. Always Be Closing.  It’s your job to let the world know what you do, how to get it and constantly ask if they want it.

If you want the real secret to marketing, it’s people.  Train everyone around you to promote for you.  This will likely be another post.  In the meantime, keep posting on Facebook.  It’s important to have a presence, but don’t be surprised when nobody buys what you’re selling if it’s the only place you’re promoting.

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