Social media - the lie behind the the headline

February 4, 2010

I think that in 2009 we all did social media and twitter to death! Agree? What's next?

I was sent a link a couple of weeks ago to a slide share presentation by Rory Murray [Link] but I wanted to pick up on one thing that stood out to me... a common lie that is spouted by many ' Gurus' and 'Experts' about the cost of Twitter and other social media to your business. A comparison is done on slide 12 between direct mail, billboard advertising and twitter: It's hard to see how these figures equate to reality - Does the cost also detail the time and effort put into the design, printing etc of the direct mail and billboard advertising? Is the number of customers a true reflection on the ROI these things are so hard to measure? For one moment do I not believe that Twitter is FREE. Any one saying this should be hung drawn and quarter for misleading people. The cost involved may not initially be cold hard cash, but I do think that there are other costs that a few (not all) of these so called experts often leave out. The real cost = Your time! Social media marketing, like any other marketing vehicle, is a tool to be used in line with your overall marketing strategy for your business. It is not something that should be treated as separate. The first thing that you will need to understand is the reasoning behind these guys and gals saying it is 'vital for the survival of your business to be on Twitter' and 'The return on your investment is massive!' - if you don't know how to drive a tank, you're gonna be no good in war. Don't jump into social media until you know why you should and how your business will benefit from it. You could just end up wasting your time. If after looking at this and you feel that there would be a benefit, you may need to then dig in and learn how to use it (and all other related mobile applications and desktop programmes) and how not to use it. Oh... this will not happen in an instant... it will take time. Once you've learned how to use the system there is then the small matter of either generating content or syndicate other peoples content over the social media platforms... and the small matter of engaging with people that ask questions of you, send you direct messages and also being involved in conversations to generate interest in particular subjects. Will this all happen without you giving any focussed time and effort? No... it will take up more of your time. Then once you start - how is it going to reflect on you, your brand and your business activities if you stop because you can't keep up. Staying active and in the networks is key to the 'building relationships' focus on social media platforms. More time to plan for the future! So how do people really find the time to do this whole social media thing? All in all this whole business of time is the big fear that I hear many businesses speak about. 'I just don't have the time to do all of this' - after sitting down with them and showing them ways in which they can streamline and put strategy to this activity it becomes less of a headache and much more of a great profile building and 'profitable' long term relationship building exercise where transactions may indeed fall off the timeline of relationships. In light of this I have decided to lay on a FREE seminar in Swindon on the 19th February 2010 where I will go through this much more detail. I will also have a couple of people talk about how they benefit for using social media, given their initial response similar to above. Date and time: Friday 19th February 2010 - 3pm-4pm (then you can go home early!) Location: Basepoint Business Centre, Swindon, SN5 7EX - click here for directions - (plenty of FREE parking) To book in on this seminar call Ant on 01793 238697, visit www.toinfinity.co.uk/social-media-seminar. Spaces are limited so book in early.

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