Social Media

3 Things Your “Social Media Expert” Won’t Tell You About Growth

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Every “social media expert” will tell you that your business needs to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. etc. etc.

But that’s not how you grow.

For example, diversifying your investments is a sound personal finance theory. It helps you to minimize risk in any one asset class. But the problem is that you’re also minimizing your possible returns. By definition, your diversification is averaging all the returns.

The key to real growth is by investing in less. You want to focus your time, money, and energy in as few things as possible, giving yourself more leverage in those activities.

The ultimate goal of using social media for your business is to grow. You want to bring in new customers, and keep your existing ones around longer. Otherwise, why else do it?

But while “social media experts” may be great at engagement, they don’t understand how to grow.

Here are 3 social marketing tips they won’t tell you.

The Social Media Guru Cartoon Comic
Image courtesy of seanrnicholson

1. Be Lazy

“Social media experts” want you to “go out and engage in the conversation”.

Connecting one-to-one is great. But it doesn’t scale.

Instead, you should be lazy and make people come to you.

There are generally three ways you can do that:

  1. Create Content: You can create content for other websites, or speak for different organizations.
  2. Provide Expertise: Assist a nonprofit in your area of expertise, or reach out and help bloggers with an obvious problem you see.
  3. Use Money: Create a marketing asset like a free tool or plugin to give away, or offer to sponsor a promotion so other bloggers will talk about you.

In each case, you’re putting yourself in front of communities of people. And you’re giving them the chance to come find you.

2. Do Less

There’s too much going on in social media today.

Twitter updates are endless, Facebook rolls out new features everyday, and there’s a new trend each week that everyone has to know about.

But spreading yourself too thin will give you average results. You need to focus on one or two marketing assets that will appreciate over time, and help you fuel social media.

What am I talking about?

Let’s use content marketing as an example. Every aspect of internet marketing begins with content. That Facebook status update? Content. The advertising headline? Content.

This isn’t new. Look at Coca-Cola or Proctor and Gamble. They’ve been doing it for years.

If you want to grow, then get good at creating content (or hire someone to do it). Then contribute articles to top media properties in your industry, or speak in front of organizations (for free!).

You’ll get real business leads (first), and build a social media following (second). All with one investment of your time and money. Exactly the way it should be.

3. Ignore Trends

Trends are like waves in the ocean, they come and they go.

Early adopters love them, and journalists jump on the hot bandwagon.

My favorite trend of the moment? Pinterest. For most businesses, it’s a waste of time. Here’s why:

  1. Wrong kind of traffic: “Viral” traffic usually has a high bounce rate. This traffic isn’t going to buy from you.
  2. Not enough users: Pinterest only has roughly 10 – 15 millions users. But Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ all over over 90+ million.
  3. Demographic mismatch: The user base is predominately women.

Now for some specific businesses, Pinterest might be great. And of course it will grow and be a major social network. But for most companies (with limited time, money, and energy), it’s not what you should be paying attention to.

A recent study by online market research firm MarketingSherpa reported that over half of companies don’t have a way to quantify email marketing. Even though it has an average ROI of 256% — pulling in $256 for every $1 invested!

The point is that while your “social media expert” is off chasing the latest trend, they’re neglecting basic marketing fundamentals that will actually make your business money.

Get long-term ROI.

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