Our phones have been blowing up the last couple of weeks with folks who have decided that TODAY is the day to start a blog to promote their services or widgets. They fully believe that if they create a blog, forum, wiki, facebook page, LinkedIn page, YouTube account, Twitter account, …, …, … by the end of this week that business will be booming next week.
And, based on what I’ve been reading in the blogs we follow, the phenomenon is not unique. And a simple search for the term “social media expert” provides an endless list of said experts and a long list of silver bullet webinars, books, etc. that promise to tell you how to gain lots of followers in a few short hours for the low, low price of $XX. Chris Brogan summed up the current hysteria quite well in his blog post today: 10-no-4 Days to Become a Social Media Expert. I almost didn’t click on the link in the @ContentNotes twitter stream because as a company that provides social media counseling, I had already adopted a “You’ve got to be kidding!” attitude. In the post Chris captures the ridiculousness of the frenzy that is going on out there and you’ll be giggling by the time you get to the end of day 2. He ends the post with what I attempt to tell folks when they contact me. To have a successful social media campaign, or presence, he (as do we) advises you to:
- Tie the tools to business process.
- Ruthlessly explore the value of the tools and methods to your company’s goals.
- Build relationships before testing your business objectives.
- Read voraciously.
- Ask several questions.
- Explore and test new services as potential augmentation of your business plans, but stop using services that don’t serve you.
- Keep a timer handy so you don’t drown.
Will engaging in social media efforts jump start your sales? Eventually. Social media is more like a battery charger than jumper cables. To achieve maximum results, you’ll have to give your social media marketing continued, sustained energy for a period of time before you’ll experience the “full charge” you’re hoping for.
Can you get more out of your efforts sooner? Well, sure. You can do your research and embark on your social media journey on your own. Or you can find a company to provide the service for you. Which is best for your and your company? That’s a decision that only you can make.
In a different way, not quite so tongue-in-cheek as Chris, we caution our callers by using a home construction analogy as they try to decide if they want to hire a social media expert to help them or to do it themselves.
I’ve recently done a home remodel that entailed removing built in cabinetry, building a wall, putting in an alcove, and painting several rooms. Could I have done it myself? Sure. And while it would have been fun, I’m quite certain I would have a few more grey hairs, paint spots on my floors, and would likely still be very far from my remodeling goals. I’ m confident that I would have eventually hired someone to help me out and would have paid a premium for them to correct the mistakes that I had made along the way.
I opted to hire a contractor to do the job for me at a reasonable rate from the very beginning. You see, the experts I hired knew how to plan the project from start to finish and they performed their work with an artful precision. In four days they did what would have taken me three months (or even longer); they transformed my house while I focused my energy on running Content Solutions.
The moral of the story? Hiring a social media professional to help you out will allow you to reach your ultimate goals more efficiently while allowing you to focus your energies on your business. That professional can take some of the trial and error out of the process and ultimately get you to where you need to go in the most effective way possible.
Will it happen in four days? No. But eventually you will realize the results of your marketing efforts.
If you’re the do-it-yourself sort, stay tuned, in upcoming posts, we’ll give you some ideas of how to incorpoate social media marketing efforts into your current marketing campaign. If you think you might need some help diving into this exciting arena, give us a call. We’d love to talk with you about how social media marketing can be an integral part of your marketing campaign.