Co-founder of Lit Dealer and Kreative Hedgehog, partner at Polda Builders. Digital marketer, entrepreneur and author.
Former Business Analyst at UBS Investment Bank, 33 year-old admirer of the state of extreme exhaustion.
If there is one thing that is totally overhyped right now it’s social media marketing, no doubts about that. Don’t get me wrong, I think social media by its own is great. More from the social point of view. Sharing bits of your personal life to certain extent is kinda cool, you have to admit that.
And also from the company perspective it gives them an opportunity to tell the story. To allow people to see what’s behind the scenes, to get to know certain brands a little bit better.
On the other we have all kinds of creators and art in all forms and shapes. This is the revolution that gave countless artists a chance to be seen and they are the biggest winners here for sure.
So many cool stuff about social media and I still think social media marketing sucks? You bet! And I am sure you will think so too by the end of this article.
One of the reasons is because social media is the breeding ground for so called entrepreneurs and fake gurus telling you it’s the hidden gem to make millions online. It’s time to end this BS once and for all.
Why Social Media Doesn’t Work
Alright, it’s not like it doesn’t work. You can post pictures of your kiddo and it will get few likes, I am sure about that. The first problem I have with it is the one I already mentioned – fake gurus trying to meet nothing else, but their objectives.
And then we have all these people trying to implement what they have been “taught” by those who “made it”… followed by those who just want to be instafamous and by those who bought into the lie it will solve all their problems.
You’re probably asking yourself a question “cool, but how come it doesn’t work? I can beat those guys, my content is dope!”
I have two words for you my friend – shelf life. In essence it’s the length of time after which something is gone and forgotten. Social media is marketing without a shelf life. The pace at which new stuff is being added is unimaginable.
In one second there are:
- 8500 tweets sent on Twitter
- 910 photos posted on Instagram
- God only knows how many Facebook actions
Do you think you can you keep up? And none of those is a search engine, no one will find your post in a week from the moment it’s been posted.
Social media exposure
Many people like to use the “exposure” argument. True, you will get exposure. For 5 seconds.
Someone might say that’s better than nothing. Ok, but then what? Let’s assume you post a picture online, you will get bunch of likes and some comments / shares. What’s next? How do you convert those people who liked your photo?
What is the ROI of your social media marketing efforts? It’s been said that GaryVee responded to such question once “what’s the ROI of your mother?”. Super smart, but how can you compare everything to something that brings close to no results?
And it’s a lot of work. You have to come up with loads of new content to post every single day. Or even few times a day, ideally on several different platforms. Seriously, who’s got time for that?
So you decide to hire someone to do that for you for £300-£400 on one social media platform. Bear in mind, though, it won’t be done great. To speed up the entire process of gaining followers you can spend additional 200 quid per month on promotions. It might bring a sale or two…
Are these well invested money?
They are not your friends
Besides, you have to remember that social media platforms are companies and they are trying to make money for their stakeholders. Do you really think their main objective is to help small businesses? Or become random people super famous?
Some will for sure, it’s the type of success that’s needed in order to keep spinning the wheel by others.
In fact all the changes that have been made over the years on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have proven it’s the exact opposite – they aim for big wigs and their deep pockets, baby. Can you blame them?
Last, but not least you do NOT own the audience on your social media profile. Everything is someone else’s and you have no control over how they do shit. Pardon my French, but you get the point, right?
Not to mention it’s hella difficult to drive people to your website through social media, even more difficult to pull out their credit cards. With one exception – Pinterest, but we’ll get there, so stick with me.
Can You Make Money on Social Media
You surely can. Just look at all this splendor on every post. Everyone is showing off how great their life is. How they eat awesome food, sunbath all day long, drive fantastic cars and their better half looks like Brad Pitt or Jennifer Lopez.
Or check out all those lambo-boys and tits-n-ass-shops, they definitely have everything figured out 😉
How can you make money on social media
But jokes aside, there are money to be made on social media. One of the most obvious ways is by driving traffic to your website. You can also run small social media marketing agency and do it for small businesses that have no time to learn or desire to deal with it.
There is also such thing as Influencer marketing and if you have enough following you can make some spare money on promoting products on your feed.
It won’t be much, it won’t be stable and it won’t be real business that you can scale or rely on. Of course the more followers you have the more money you can make. This is why people are doing everything they can to grow their profiles to tens and hundreds thousands of followers.
Is it too good to be true
And this is also why you can buy likes, comments and followers…
There are many “agencies” that will provide you with tons of “engagement” if you are willing to invest. Apparently it’s quite lucrative business and I heard of one guy making $150k a month (!) providing such services. Now, that’s a real business.There are many “agencies” that will provide you with tons of likes, shares and comments if you are willing to invest. Apparently it’s quite lucrative #business #socialMedia #digitalMarketing Click To Tweet
Funnily enough also well known online celebs are his Clients. This is how it goes – a person buys fake likes and followers to get a social proof, this way he or she appears more legit. This also helps them to sell more overpriced and not-so-valuable courses so they can maintain their flashy lifestyle and show how they’ve “made it”.
Ultimately to attract more businesses to make influencer marketing with.
Boom! Surprised? I bet you are, so was I. Don’t get me wrong, not everything is smoke and mirrors, it’s just some people are using social media for all the wrong reasons.
There are many valuable and really legit pages, but it took them years to build this kind of following they have now. They are also able to drive some sales through that.
It’s a game not everyone can play
On the flip side, it’s just not for everyone. If you are roofing company how do you want to tell the story of how cool your company is?
I mean you probably can if it’s something you are passionate about, but there won’t be that many people on social media looking forward to your next post. I believe your time and money can be invested much efficiently somewhere else.
Alternatives to Social Media Marketing
If you have to use social media currently the best platform for driving additional traffic is Pinterest. There are few reasons for that. The most important one is that this platform is visual search engine, it’s not typical social media.
The post turnover is also pretty high, but your posts are actually being seen. Most importantly people are clicking through to your website, since every post can be linked to a specific page. That’s pretty cool compared to Instagram.
Bad news are it will not be that efficient forever and as every company they will strive to bring maximum profits to their stakeholders. That means they will reduce the organic exposure and push for ads much more.
If you want to find something much more niche, check out this article with 9 social networks you probably haven’t even heard of.
Luckily there are multiple alternatives to social media marketing. You can engage at Quora, Yahoo Answers or your niche groups and forums. Helping out other users and building relationships is much more important and will bring more sales than bunch of likes.
You can also get in touch with some bloggers, youtubers or podcasters from your niche and tell them your story. Explain why it would be beneficial for them to interview you or allow you write a guest post.
This might work better than you expect. Such creators have to come up with loads of new content every week. Of course they won’t take just anyone, but if you sell yourself well, you stand good chances.
Ultimately if you have more money than time just go with the paid advertisement on Google or even regular press. Yes, they can still work. But you have to do it right, here is how.
What Should be the Core of my Marketing Strategy
So what you should do more instead? Focus on your website and building an email list. This is the only thing you have more or less under control. Yes, there SEO and Google algorithm, but it’s not as scary as it may seem.
It’s definitely less scary than shadowbans and constant algorithm changes on Instagram. Yet, not those who are trying to game the system are the most impacted…
Either way every social media page you decide to run should be merely just an addition to your virtual real estate – your website. It’s impossible to build a business based solely on social media, but it can be done with a help of your WWW only.Every #socialMedia page you decide to run should be merely just an addition to your virtual real estate - your website. #coreMarketingStrategy Click To Tweet
Your website represents your business, it is your online presence.
A place where you can convert your visitors, capture emails of your leads and actually make some sales. On top of that Google is a search engine which means that your stuff can be found years after it’s been posted.
It’s pretty pleasant shift
That’s almost like a relief if you’ve been fighting for years with social media. Your posts can actually hold and add some value by answering questions people might have. This way you drive traffic to your website – by adding helpful and informative content relevant to your niche.
There are three ways to do it. Through blog, podcast or video and you should really focus on one. But eventually you want to be on all three. It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s fairly simple:
- Video – later you can create a podcast from it and transcribe it into written word
- Podcast – later you can add explainer video and transcribe it into written word
- Written word – later you can record an audio on it and add explainer video
You just need to figure out what is the most natural environment for you. Are you naturally good at writing, talking or performing? Once you know that you can add other two. Believe me, this is the best thing you can do for your business. Below you can find more details about online marketing
Please feel free to share this article if you found it valuable.