I was reading an article the other day about social media and it left me with a pit in my stomach.
For 3 long pages, it touted and praised social media as the new television, the new radio, the new paper and the ultimate marketing MACHINE.
It made claims of it’s power that would seduce any business person.
If you had any doubt about social before this article, or were feeling stuck in your business for what ever reason, this article left you salivating and foaming at the mouth with a solution to your problems.
They were selling the magic pill, the ultimate solution, the one-stop-shop for business success. From a business perspective, the article probably worked great and brought in loads of business.
And I’m all for that, I believe there is immense POTENTIAL power in social media, but here’s where it really started to get to me…
The article did a great job “selling” social media and getting you all pumped up, and then it takes a turn and starts to go on and on about how social media only really works if you dump loads of money into it. They had all these stats and arguments stating that if you don’t put money into it, it’s a futile effort. And of course, they’re talking about money into their services.
They insisted that in order for it to manifest true results, the results they spend most of the article bragging about, bucket-loads of cash needed to be put into it.
Here’s the real kicker: Guess who wrote the article? A marketing agency.
I know… I run an agency… but if you’ve read any of my material, you know I’m in a different league. Walk into most agencies and ask them what time it is and they’ll answer with “what time do you want it to be”. Most agencies don’t ever want to talk about measurable, tangible results. You know the “this is about branding and image, you can’t measure that stuff” baloney. They’re not about results, they’re about appearance. Most are nothing more than graphic designers.
So why did this article “tick me off”? Doesn’t it take money to make money? Wouldn’t social media be the same?
Nope. Not at all.
Social media is one of those places that you CAN get mega-traction without money. In fact, without spending a dime!
This article upset me because it’s dishonest. It’s un-ethical, and it drives me nuts.
Listen, if you want to build lasting, sustainable enterprise that stands the test of time and amasses great wealth than it’s essential that you build an ETHICAL business – something I strive for each day – but this article left me queasy because it was peddling a major misconception.
Let me explain…
Success on social media WILL take a sizable investment of cash…. OR TIME. And that’s the real difference.
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this all the time… Social media (especially) is all about TIME. If you can invest 2, 5, 8, 10 hours a day into social media – and do it right – you can build a very sizable following and then EVENTUALLY monetize that audience.
Once you’ve got 250K followers, there’s always a bunch that’ll buy just about anything you put out.
Building that audience can be done WITHOUT SPENDING A DIME.
Do not be fooled by this article. You can generate incredible results without putting a dime into social media.
Just look at the countless teens making 6 and 7 figures on YouTube by making silly videos. They’re putting time into it, that’s it.
“But I don’t have time”
I know, and THAT’S where agencies come in. The real “rub” of the article wasn’t that they were selling their service. It was the fact that didn’t make that serious distinction – especially in a magazine designed to help entrepreneurs.
I believe in teaching businesses what to do, in giving them options and telling them exactly what I would do… and then explaining how I could do it for them instead.
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime”
I’m trying to teach you to fish, so that 1 – you understand the process, and 2 – if you really can’t afford our services you shouldn’t use them! Do it yourself!
When I was just starting off, I was the janitor, the social media guy, the graphic designer, the marketer, the salesperson, the delivery boy, the secretary, etc.
So don’t be fooled…. Success in social media is about TIME, not money.
Now, let’s say you don’t have the time, then YES, it’s about money. And lot’s of it.
I always chuckle when a client regularly invest 5 grand into their radio budget every year, and then when introduced into social media they want to give it a trial run of $100.
How far will 100 bucks get you on the radio? What about television? Heck it won’t even get you an ad in the paper.
Any marketing medium out there would flat out tell you one hundred dollars isn’t going to move the needle one bit. As a friend recently said to me “the juice isn’t worth the squeeze“.
Let’s take it back to the point here and wrap this up…
If you’re going to embark on the social journey – which I recommend you do – you’ve got to do it right, and you’ve got two choices.
1 – You can invest TIME, and lot’s of it. But I’ll give you one quick warning… Many people think they’re going to do it and put in the time, so they start and the first week they post every day twice a week, the second week they only post once a week, the third week they post every second day, and by the end of the fourth week they’re not posting at all and are “over it”. Like a new diet, the desire has faded and they’ve found a million and one excuses as to why they just don’t have time.
2 – You invest MONEY to replace the TIME. And this is where the “sizable amount” comes in. Yes, if you’re going to outsource your social media, it’s going to cost money. It takes time to create ads, to create things to post, to write up good content, post it often and engage with your fans. This takes time, which when outsourced, takes money.
Money is not the breaking point for social media. Time is.
Now, before I let you go I want to make one last little comment so you don’t go waste your time OR money.
Can you jump on the radio and say just about anything and generate sales?
Can you jump on the TV and let your preteen nephew say whatever stuff he wants about your business and generate sales?
Can you let your secretary put together a full page ad and expect to generate sales?
Maybe. A few might bite. I mean, there’s ALWAYS a fraction of the market that’ll buy no matter what. But let’s face it, your results are going to be limited.
My point here is do it right.
The “freeness” of social media seems to take away it’s value and worth, and I see businesses dump absolute garbage out to the social world.
Just because it’s a free medium, doesn’t mean the world isn’t watching – and judging – based on what you put out.
Each time you post, it’s an ad, it’s a billboard, it’s a representation of your business, and it’s an opportunity to sell yourself, so please do it right!
When I was in Karate, we’d never let a white belt teach the black belt class – yet many are total white belts in marketing and they’re trying to run effective campaigns.
To recap…. Social media is about time, pour your heart into it and go all out, consistently, forever, or invest your money to outsource it. But whichever you choose, do it right!
To your success,
PS – Of course, often business owners do have the time, but not the know-how. We can help with that as well. We can set up your accounts, make sure they are well optimized and create guidelines and systems for you and hand it over for you to run with. If you need help, or just need a one hour crash course, let us know and we’ll be glad to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
PPS – One last thing. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s not JUST time. I don’t believe that time alone is the solution. Doing the right thing over a serious length of time is the solution. Doing the wrong thing for ANY amount of time is a waste of time.