“I’ve heard that my business should be active in social media. That should be easy.”
That’s how it starts. Your neighborhood plumber/hair stylist/restaurateur has gotten the brilliant idea that they need to have a presence on Facebook. Or maybe a friend told them how hilarious they are, so they should tweet. They’ll definitely get thousands of likes/followers.
If the plumber/hair stylist/restaurateur is savvy, they’ll start to do a little research. They’ll check out some social media marketing sites to get some ideas. Maybe they’ll sign up for a Marketo newsletter to get some samples of social media calendars and some campaign ideas. Maybe they’ll start following some of the thought leaders in social media marketing. Perhaps they’ll talk with someone they know who has professional experience with social media.
That’s not going to happen.
We have to remember that social media marketing is so easy even a caveman can do it. First, they’ll go to the youngest member of their staff. Social media is, of course, only for the young. They’ll instruct that person to start posting, taking artsy pictures of wrenches/hair/food, and start making videos. Then they’ll wonder – and possibly even blame that youngest member of their staff – why they aren’t getting results.
Social media has more complexities than many people realize. On the surface, it looks easy, but success takes hard work and time. It’s trying to capture your audience in 10 seconds of face time while surrounded by hundreds of others trying to do the same. Had the plumber/hair stylist/restaurateur done their research, they would have been on the right track. Tools like Hootsuite and Edgar are there to help schedule and plan social media campaigns, as well provide analytics on social media content. Joining social media marketing groups on LinkedIn offers a wealth of information and network connections. With the right tools and a little research, successful social media marketing is not an unattainable goal.
The Oatmeal has a web comic on how to get Facebook likes for those who are interested (crossing fingers that the plumber/stylist/restaurateur understands satire).
Meme created on imgflip
By Morgan Smith, Graduate Student
M.A. in Emerging Media
Loyola University Maryland