Amidst the absurd flow of articles I’ve come across associated with social media and business in the past few weeks, I’m most irritated by headlines such as ‘how to make $$$ with social media’ and ‘all the tricks of social media marketing’.
I’d like propose five basic facts here and now for all marketers and advertisers out there.
1. You do not make money from social media in a business context. (You save money.)
2. If you advertise on a social networking site you are not making money from social media, you are making money from advertising. It’s not smart or innovative. Don’t flatter yourself.
3. There are no tricks to social media. It’s a conversation. You remember the last conversation you had with your corner store owner/mailman/accountant/co-worker? It’s like that. Only technology mediated. It’s not rocket science.
4. Yes, brand awareness influences intention to purchase. No shit, Sherlock. You have to know about something to be interested in buying it. But the correlation between intention to purchase and actual sales is much weaker. Don’t assume brand awareness = sales. It doesn’t.
5. Social media are, perhaps unsurprisingly, social. Thus getting a bot to do the work for you is quite possibly the stupidest strategy in the world, and destined for failure. And yes, getting the lowest paid worker to handle social media without adequate guidance and instruction from a technology-aware senior worker is tantamount to the same thing as getting a bot to work for you.
If these basic principles were more broadly understood and accepted, I believe most of the rubbish articles, strategies and tips that are being written about social media in mainstream press would be eliminated.