I did a rant on Facebook not long ago (by the way looking back on it I was completely justified so anyone who is expecting an apology well you’ll be disappointed) I think I’m a victim of social network training overload, not that I’m spending all my time on social networking. I’m spending too much time reading about how to make social networking work for my company.
Now social networking looks very attractive for small business. Most Social networks you can get on them for free, you can market to a wide group of people. However there are a few drawbacks.
- You’re only marketing to your own network to the people you already know and connected to. Yes this can help with client retention, and In this economy it is a good thing to remind your customers that your still in business. Also if you’re lucky your posts and links get shared beyond your friends but that doesn’t happen much, because everyone’s news feeds are so crammed with so much stuff that anything that you post about your company might get a little lost in the shuffle. Also if I am connected to someone on multiple networks your hitting the same person with the same stuff multiple times.
- There are so many social networks and it is really unclear which ones you need to be on, what you should be posting to each one, when, and how often. For example one expert says that you can re-post the same content several times a day across different networks. I have seen others say that you should only post certain content to certain networks. Social networks also seem to crop up like Starbucks; every week there is a new one.
- It’s hard to know who to listen too. Almost every one of the social networking gurus is not using social networking to promote their business, social networking is their business. They make their living from social networking meaning that every time they post their not marketing their business they are producing work product. Which is very different compared to the rest of us who have to not only market our business but run a business.
- Finding the right content can also be a challenge. You see many “experts” promote curated content. The idea of finding relevant content to your business or brand that others created to post. My issue is that I am a computer guy and there is no shortage of content out there about the subject, but finding the stuff that others will relate too is a bit like panning for gold.
- The catch 22 is that all the social networking experts say that you have to be part of all these networks but to have time to post to all these networks you need a tools like Hootsuite, Buffer,and Sprout social. However, if you use those tools you don’t get nearly as much influence or reach or what ever they’re calling it now as you would post if you posted manually. Also to get the most out of these tools you need to pony up. The free versions are only useful to a point, then they want you to pay, also to get you to pay they will offer you the world.
So you post a lot, a whole lot, and then your post to half a dozen social networks and hopefully someone sees it remembers who you are and calls you. It kinda reminds me of SETI experiments. We send signals out space, we don’t know where they’re going but somebody’s got to get back to us eventually.
I’ve driven myself crazy trying to get my social networking, my blog/website in order. All of this to help find new clients, but a colleague of mine enlightened me with this simple phrase “you’re not selling Chia Pets” that my social networking isn’t about generating leads. My website/blog my Facebook, LinkedIn profiles are there to show perspective clients that I know what I am talking about. “Spray and pray” is not going to work for me. In fact I’m getting to the point where I’m thinking not more social networking but less. He is how it’s going to go down.
- Three networks: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. As For the rest of the social networks, I’m sorry I don’t have time for you. (And honestly I have never gotten much out of you. Except for Pintrest but that was mostly for Star Trek pictures)
- I am going to Blog about as often as I can. I am going try to “Replicate” my blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse.
What it comes down to is if the fact that I would rather have spent my time taking care of my customers, or spend my time working in my chosen profession vs trying to get Facebook Likes It always comes back to the very simple fact that a happy client and a job done well and correctly is better advertising then all of the social media that there is.
I am Joseph Serrago and I teach computers how to behave themselves, and my clients need me more then Facebook does.