The platforms may be different, but advertising hasn’t changed that much since the Don Drapers of Madison Avenue reigned. One encompassing truth is the same, you don’t get something for nothing.
Three-martini lunches and storyboards on easels aside, social media is all bright and shiny in the beginning. No start-up costs, no monthly recurring fees, just a splash of branding on a digital banner and off you go!
Some DIY social media marketers do a good job. They crank out fresh content and post cool videos of their construction company’s recent demolition or restoration. They tweet “How To…” Tips, pre-schedule posts, and add complimentary white papers on their site. They may even have a content calendar and an active Instagram account.
But the boasts of “we haven’t spent a dime on advertising” start to become a bit hollow when the “likes” on their Facebook page are directly proportionate to their number of Facebook friends and a few obliging clients. That sound they hear is not the ping of new admirers clamoring to get onboard, it’s the sound of their business hitting the social media ceiling.
They may rally to get back on track, and then it gets old. Fast. It all becomes not only nearly impossible to keep up with, it is nearly impossible to do well — consistently.
The other problem is, the pervading misconception is that social media is “free” and anyone is capable of doing it so they should. The fact is:
- It’s not enough to have your business partner’s nephew randomly administer your pages, you need a plan and experts at the helm to gain the competitive advantage.
- The Hootsuites of the world are brilliant in theory — a social media dashboard. Excellent! But the free versions of those are woefully insufficient to maintain engagement and track connections for a high volume of customer service interactions.
- ?You are also going to have to face the fact that Facebook wants your money. It’s a business. They’ve come a long way from that college dorm room. Once they add your cha-ching to their stack of gold, Facebook will reward you with reach. But there again, what’s the plan? Just throwing money into sponsored posts and random ads does not a strategy make.
- We could go on about the necessity of content development, purposeful text with links, killer photos and blazing infographics; all the rich components of a viable strategy. But we’ve already killed your vodka buzz.
Like Don and Peggy and Roger Sterling, they each wound up paying dearly; one way or another. It’s sort of the same with social media.