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How much time have you spent the past 12 months watching videos, reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, attending webinars, participating at live in person industry events with a goal of hoping to learn the path to success in the online world?
There’s no doubt you could spend your every waking hour listening and watching others to learn what they suggest you should do to be super successful, rich and famous (or so they say.)
No doubt there is value in saving time and improving results by learning from others who have already been down the path you are wanting to succeed at.
Here’s the challenge though… we all have a different path. We all have different goals, objectives, customers, audience, strengths and weaknesses.
Learning from experts in your industry can be extremely helpful. However, particularly when it comes to social media and digital marketing, it is very easy to quickly fall into a rabbit hole or wild social media goose chase where you wind up chasing some shiny new social object that could drive you to wasted days, weeks or even months of your time.
While it may be tempting to sit all day and listen, watch and engage with the self proclaimed social media “gurus” as they are also often the loudest, this may not be the smartest approach.
Here’s why.. just as you are reading this blog post, it is only ONE blog post. It’s not an entire strategy or plan. It doesn’t and can’t give you everything you need to build out a social media, digital marketing, or branding strategy, plan, metrics or path to success for everything you do online. It’s simply one blog post on one topic, designed to help you think differently about how you leverage the suggested path forward from others.
The same thing goes for most of the content you will find in the digital and social space… it’s often one-off content. It’s “how to do this” or “what you shouldn’t and should do.” There is definitely not a lack of “advice” out there.
The key to success with consuming 3rd party information to develop your strategies, plans and tactics is that you must first focus on your own goals and objectives. You must know your audience. You must know how you can position yourself in a unique way to stand out from the noise.
It’s not about being first on a social network that your target market and ideal customer is not on.
A great example is to think about all the hype about platforms such as Snapchat. Yes, I know it is great for some brands to connect with their ideal audience who is in fact hanging out there.
However, the sad truth is that over the last couple of years many Snapchat social media “gurus” were preaching that Snapchat was the next big thing for all businesses and that “you need to jump on Snapchat now.”
This mentality of get on the platform or your business will die” is a joke. You need to do what is right for YOUR business. You need to know where your audience is hanging out and why.
The challenge is that many gurus who are preaching one platform or another, have one goal and that is to be the “go to leader” for that social network. So yes, you can learn the tactics and strategies from them, but be careful how much you listen to them. One platform should not define your entire strategy or priorities unless you have fully thought it through and you know 100% that is where your target audience is hanging out and what will help you achieve your goals and objectives.
Our training and consulting agency, Marketing Nutz does a ton of work with small businesses up to corporate Fortune enterprise brands. It doesn’t matter the size of the business, we are seeing marketers of all experience levels falling for these “jump on the new shiny object” bandwagon only to find they waste a year of time, resource and money when they could have been focusing somewhere that their audience is actually hanging out.
A great example of the Snapchat scenario is in the beauty industry. We do a lot of work with successful Loreal and Redken salons (as we are digital and social marketing training partner of Loreal).
Many salons have experimented with Snapchat only to find that it attracts an audience who can not afford their high end services. The client ends up coming into the salon and getting frustrated how expensive the service is. If the communication with the client is not managed properly, the client leaves angry and then posts a bad review. As a result, many salons are seeing Snapchat actually hurt their business because it is attracting an audience that wants but can’t afford their services.
Snapchat does work for some depending on the specific geographical location they live in and other demographic and psychographic behaviors of their audience. Many salons are at times starting to see the same thing happen on Instagram. In this scenario it’s proper targeting and communication that will drive the desired results.
Plan your work and work your plan
This is a big reason why we launched our social media training academy, Social Profit Factor. It’s not about a social shiny object that will get you rich and famous overnight. It teaches you step by step what you need to do to be successful building your business and brand online and leveraging all of the great tools and technology available to us via social media and supporting technology today.
The technology we as marketers have at our fingertips is unbelievable if you really think about it. In simple terms, social media is simply a medium for you to connect with your dream customers, friends and anyone else you desire.
It’s not what the technology can do FOR you, but what YOU can do WITH the technology!
Plan your work and work your plan. Take the time to slow down to speed up. Be careful who you listen to. Learn from them but make sure you build your own strategy and plan that will help you achieve your goals and objectives.
Listen to my latest podcast episode to learn more about why you shouldn’t listen to the gurus, and should instead build your own plan
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