Hello world, it’s been years since I’ve posted on my website. It’s time for some website polishing, updating and reconnecting. I just hired a developer today to begin by wiping off the cobs on my web…site, update/change info etc… (phew, it feels better already).
Since I left the speaking circuit, so much has happened. I joined a global marketing agency (Rosetta/Razorfish), left it, started my own agency (Agency Lead), sold it, got married (still am, happily, to an amazing lawyer/PhD), worked directly with and for companies such as Samsung, Sprint, Lucky Brands, True Religion, Guitar Hero, Chase Bank to name a few. My husband and I also opened a coffee house and restaurant (closed it- whew, many lessons learned on that journey) and so much more.
So here I am today, getting back to my entrepreneurial roots, my writing passion and love for PR. I never actually left being an entrepreneur, I don’t think it is something you can leave, it is either in you or it isn’t- the drive, your every thought and movement, at least in my experience. I simply left the path of building my personal brand, writing/publishing another book, traveling 300 days out of the year etc… back in 2011, all to dive deeper into marketing. Initially I had thought I wanted to return to school and complete medical school, well that lasted about 9 weeks. Lots of other stories in between but for now, enough about me.
Let’s dig into the reason I’m writing this blog post today and get back to my headline- Why Social Media Sucks. In my previous marketing life, I was social obsessed, could not get enough of the technologies and shiny objects online. I was on the front lines when the massive wave of social media hit back in 2007. I even wrote books on the subject, wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine, MSN Business, Inc Magazine, AOL, Yahoo to name a few. I went into teaching/training entrepreneurs and business executives on how to utilize these tools to build brands, connect, grow, convert…and the story goes on. I was struck with social media fever. I would social media binge daily and return to market with the next best technique, approach, script, tip, dos and don’ts. I quickly realized that the market was becoming crowded, and we would eventually be headed back to or towards two-way traditional marketing via direct mail, person-to-person connection, old school PR, cause-marketing etc… Over the years, I closed my past Twitter channel 10,000+ fans (at the time that was impressive, however today I would just be a Twitter loner- I have since relaunched my Twitter but still have not used it lol), deleted 4,899 of my Facebook “friends”, paused my fan page, and turned my instagram into an account for my dog. So why do I think social media sucks now? Here are my top 4 reasons:
1) Social Overwhelm- There are way too many social media outlets aka vehicles now. The internet started with 5-6 of them and now as of 2017 there are thousands of them, you can check most of them out here. How does one even begin to choose where marketing time should be spent, let alone how to develop clear strategies that are tied to a revenue driven marketing plan and efforts? “Everyone is on Facebook, so that means I should be on there as well, if I’m in business I need to be on Linkedin, oh but now there is this new site somethingsocialandshiny.com where I can reach a new consumer, maybe I should be on there as well, wait I haven’t even tweeted this month, did my last post make any money or grab any emails, how do I know what is working and what isn’t”…the list goes on… Have you or are you experiencing at least one if not all of these frustrations? SUGGESTION- One of the first things I suggest is to survey your customer base or audience etc… and find out what they are using, doing, need, want in regard to communication. I have used Survey Monkey or Google Forms in the past- they both work very well, pretty easy to navigate. LEARN what and where your audience and/or customers are at and what they want, how they want it.
2) Brand Stories Get Lost- It has always been about story telling, always will be. PR. Period. One of the problems with mass channels now is that truly beautiful and compelling brand and product stories can get lost in the mix. Aside from the busy social streets, when stories do surface most are boring and unappealing which turns it into a bad user experience on that particular channel. Brands need to be interesting, heartfelt and just raw/real. The sooner a brand gets there- the better their marketing will be and the more loyalty they will have. If you aren’t being real, raw to the core then chances are your story probably sucks. Go find yourself, your story, ask someone else to write a story about you or your product/service. I have hired many talented writers from online services such as Freelancers or Upwork. I still have relationships with great writers I have hired from these services, I hire them to this day.
Once you get that story nailed (how will you know? that’s what I will write about in my next blog post), you need to tell it, share it and be seen. I suggest starting with sending personalized notes to your VIP list by using sites link Bond.co or FeltApp. Include a CALL TO ACTION, hello it’s 2017! If you don’t have a list to send to, create one, get back out there to events, reconnect with prior contacts etc… Some other ways to tell your story- use video, cool filter apps and email your story. If you do use social media and want to be heard, seen, tell your story etc… then read this article on Buffer App- it’s fabulouso- click here
3) The Pay-to-play Model is Broken- to run ad campaigns now-a-days on social channels, it really requires additional resourcing. Ad platforms have become a beast. Seriously, I could write an entire post on this topic but why should I- just google it, it is pretty much covered- here is a great article on it- AdEspresso. There have been issues with fake accounts on social channels and your ad dollars going towards marketing to those accounts, Facebook is getting most of the heat on this, however Twitter and Linkedin have their own advertising fires to put out. I’m not saying that ads can’t work or that they don;t but know what you are getting yourself into or hire a pro.
4) Organic Smanic- The knowledge, effort and time it takes to stay on top of google and their ever changing algorithms is overwhelming even for large companies. I haven’t even touched on Bing, Yahoo etc…How do you keep up with SEO let alone understand the foreign language of it!?! I swear agencies have secret meetings, invent new lingo and just throw it out in conversations so that you hire them because you know they know their stuff. Don’t get me wrong, there are some extremely talented SEO agencies and consultants out there, I work with some of the best but seriously gals/guys- stop having your secret lingo meetings. Here is a great app/site where you can keep up with SEO even if you don’t even know what SEO means- Ranking Coach- click here. Yoast is another great site, specific to WordPress sites.
In closing, social media can absolutely suck unless you do research to find out where your audience/market is online and you need to know their behaviors so that you can better market to them/for them. I included a few more resources on social media demographics below. No matter what, make sure your story is raw to the core and clickable. Ask yourself- “would I read this?” Asking yourself this very question- with everything you write or have written will be a business game changer. Lastly, if you are going to invest in ads- know what you are doing, hire someone that does, email me if you need referrals, otherwise you are just burning through money on these sites with no real return. Trying to navigate Googles adwords or Facebook’s ad business manager center is like trying to find water in the desert. It’s a long, dry process to get there and even when you think you are there, it might just be a mirage of ad bliss.
Whew, that was a lot to get through. Thank you for reading. I’m hoping to keep in touch more often. I am actively working with clients and I am pretty much booked full time but I will do my best to post as often as I’m inspired to do so. I also have 4 dogs now, yup, I found my love for dogs in the past 6 years. Pure love.
Please feel free to share, agree to disagree, post more suggestions, tips etc…
PS- you can read one of my latest PR lands for an awesome client of mine: Forbes Magazine – Daniel Cohn Wine (the best Cab ever!)