WHY DOESN’T SOCIAL MEDIA WORK?

Doug's Tips…

    • WHY DOESN'T SOCIAL MEDIA WORK?
    • At the end of the day, we need to ask “Did it produce a sale?”
    • Just endlessly posting and hoping someone will connect doesn’t work
    • The laws of reciprocity are working fine in social media.
    • What I'm asking for is to connect. Look for different ways to connect

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Welcome back to another episode of Real Marketing, Real Fast. Today is going to be a solo episode, and I want to follow up on a blog post that I published not too long ago. The title of the blog post was Social Media Doesn't Work When It's Not Social. So, I want to follow up because there's a lot of discussion on social media, there's been analyst shares and posts and tweets, and everything you can possibly imagine to do a Facebook and Facebook feed and not displaying your information.

I think seriously there's a larger issue at hand than the algorithm of a platform like Facebook. I think the bigger issue here really is that for a lot of businesses, social media doesn't work. I think the real reason that it doesn't work is because we're not using it the way that it was intended. If you think of the idea of being social, or if you think in business in terms of sales and marketing, your sales approach, you approach a prospect whether it's online or face to face. There's usually a discussion, there's a dialogue, there's handling objections. There's all the various stages of that sales conversation.

But, for some reason, email marketing has gotten a bad name. We constantly hear people say, “Email doesn't work,” or you've got issues with deliverability. You've got issues with open rates, or people are spamming. While all those things are true, every media has its challenges, and social really is no difference.

So, just for a minute, if you want to compare social media to email marketing, email marketing you might end up with an open rate of 30, 35 or 40% to your in-house list, so that means that's a message that you've sent. That means it's been received by somebody in their inbox, and they've opened it and they've read it.

I would suggest that if you look at that compared to social media, that you're really probably getting a lot higher open rate than you do on social. If you just compare just for a minute, if I look at my Twitter account, I am by no means an icon on social. I work using social media, I like social media, I engage and talk to people. Just run the numbers and compare your social channel to email and your other channels.

Right now, I've got about 11,800 people following me on Twitter that I'm connected with. If you look at the response in terms of Twitter's own analytics to when people open them and see them, I'm not anywhere near the open rates, or the impressions that you would get from email. Just looking at today's date, just for example, in the last 24 hours, it looks like I've got 9,500 and 40 impressions. That stems over a 24 hour period.

If you look at the engagement, the engagement numbers are a bit lower. The same thing on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of my favorite business platforms. I know some of you love it, and some of you don't. But, LinkedIn has been a very valuable business tool for me. Currently, I had set some goals and I finally met one of my goals, and that was to cross over 20,000 connections, and I am currently [inaudible 00:03:23] … pull up my account here.

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They say I'm sitting at 20,412 connections. In terms of engagement, I use LinkedIn because it's a really good example of why I think that social media marketing is not working today. All I need to do is go over to my inbox, and I just need to look at the messages that I've received in the last 24 hours. I'll get maybe 10, 12, 15, maybe as many as 20 requests to connect over a 24 hour period.

I have my executive assistant look over the requests to connect to make sure that you, in fact, are a valid, real person with a profile, with a job description, with some connections and education showing, and image. If you're not, then we're going to delete it, or report it as unknown. I am open to all connections, so if you want to connect on LinkedIn, feel free to do so.

Looking through my inbox, I can't really see anything in the last 24 hours that I wouldn't consider to be spam in terms of initiation from third parties. So, this means somebody whose invited me to connect, I've decided to connect with them, and before they even took a minute to say, “Hey, how are you,” or looked at my business, they've sent out a generic message saying, “Hey, buy my stuff.”

What's kind of interesting with social is that there's opportunity for us to reach out and build connections with people and get them offline. I don't know what your definition of social working for your business, or not working, means to you, but I guess at the end of the day, we need to audit that back and say, “Did it produce a sale?”

I think the challenge that we often have is that we're expecting the sale to come directly from the social channel. While I know this is possible, it's just more difficult to go from somebody seeing a post on LinkedIn, or your post on Instagram, and not being their only connection in that small amount of time and space, or that small image, making a purchasing decision, or at least a decision to go to your landing page or your web page, and buying off of that.

What I found more often than not is that getting that person from social really, we need to get them into another channel and another opportunity to have a dialogue. What I do with my LinkedIn, if you send me a friend request after Melissa has looked to make sure you are a real person, you're going to get a message from me.

Yes, it's a canned message, but it's non-salesy. I'm just basically saying, “Hey, how are you. Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. Was there anything in particular that you're looking for?” Then, the next question is, “Is there any additional information I can provide?” I go on to say that no, this is not a sales pitch, but if you'd like to connect with me, use this link.

I actually embed a link for booking software right within my LinkedIn message that goes out to you, if you connect. At the bottom, I've got my sign off with my name, my telephone number, my website, and a link to my podcast. You might say, “Holy smokes, that's crazy to offer that much information.” But, here's the truth, most people are lazy.

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They're not only lazy, they just feel that posting information endlessly is a numbers game, and if they post enough stuff, people will connect. Even though we take the time to connect with every person who asked to connect, and we provide an opportunity to have an offline discussion, and there's no agenda, there's no sales pitch, it's really just a conversation. Very few people do this.

I had this discussion with somebody I was talking to just the other day. We connected through LinkedIn. He was one of the few people … actually, he was the only person in that particular week that took the chance and the opportunity to click on that link and to book an appointment. When I had the conversation, he said, “I'm a bit nervous doing this.” I said, “Well, you know …,” and I explained why this might be a good way for him to grow his business.

So, out of the 100 people that connected with me during the week, they must have had some reason for connecting. I'm assuming they saw there was some sort of opportunity, or maybe there was some interest, or maybe they're just simply trying to grow their numbers. I don't know. But, out of the 100 people that connected, only one person actually clicked the link and booked the time to have a half an hour conversation where we could exchange information about each of our businesses and see if there's a mutually beneficial opportunity for us to work together.

So, that's just an example on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has been a very good tool for me. I most often use it as a shopping tool when I'm looking for vendors and partners and suppliers. I find myself searching to identify them. I also use it when I travel. If I'm going to a particular area … like at one point I was going to New York, and I wanted to meet with some Venture Capital guys, so I simply went through my LinkedIn profile, took a look at all the people that were in that particular space, or had that as a job title, and the geographics area that I was going to be working or visiting. From there, I managed to book and set up appointments.

I take the same approach with Twitter and Facebook. While engagement may be off in the number of times that Facebook now wants to display information from your business newsfeed to your prospects, I find you can still take a very proactive approach. I use Twitter as a prospecting tool, as well, so I have a number I followers. I post, I promote other people's content, I share other people's content, I like other people's content. I send them notes when I see something that I really like.

What's interesting is, they reply. It's amazing what can happen if you just take a little bit of time and stop using the social media platforms that you've got as simply a broadcast tool. It's not radio. It's social. So, to make social work, you need to have interaction. The way to have interaction is for you to start the process.

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If you're waiting for somebody else to reach out to you, maybe waiting for a real long time, because for some reason in this world of political correctness and social media, people just seem to continually broadcast on their channel and there's really no desire or any intention to connect.

I guess maybe the thinking is, “Hey, if I put enough stuff on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, maybe magically people will be just so impressed with what I'm putting out there with my company that they'll click and they'll just go buy my stuff without ever talking to me.” Well, that may work for you, but I just find that approach … although I've tried it, didn't work well for me.

I guess what really struck home with me, a number of years ago we were in the Philippines at an event that was being hosted by a gentleman by the name of Chris Ducker, who know has a company called Youpreneur. One of the guest speakers at that particular event is a well-known podcaster, John Lee Dumas, or JLD, from Entrepreneurs on Fire. He said something from the stage that I'd never heard before. I really went away, and I kind of pondered how I would apply that to my business.

What he suggested doing, he said, “Do some stuff in your business that's not scalable.” I thought, “Okay, I thought the whole idea of business was to be scalable and to have systems and really to never have to touch anything, just set it and let it play,” or set it and forget it as they say. I decided to take that approach with social.

Over the years, I've met some really interesting people taking this approach. A number of years ago I heard a gentleman speak by the name of Dai Manual. I've had Dai on my podcast. What's really cool with Dai is that you follow him on Twitter, or you post or comment on something, he'll reply. Nonetheless, I decided that that was a good approach, and I was comfortable doing that.

Obviously, I can't do that with hundreds of people, or thousands of people, but I can certainly do that with a few. I've made an effort to build some alliances and to support some businesses that I like by continually sharing, liking, and giving them shout outs. Guess what happens? The Law of Reciprocity. Eventually, you get a note back and people are saying, “Hey, thanks for your connection. Thanks for sharing my stuff all the time. Thanks for liking my stuff.”

So, that's a different dialogue, and maybe from that further discussion, opportunities will flow. The same holds true with my podcast. I try to interview the very best guests I can find, and I try to keep in mind that there's a wide variety of you that are listening in the audience, and we can't be all things to all people. Over time, we can get the right kind of guests on the podcast.

The question that often comes is, “How much money do you make from your podcast?” “How are you monetizing it?” I'm not suggesting that my way is the right way, or the only way, I'm just suggesting my way is the right way for me. At this current point, I have elected not to run ads on my podcast. You may say that's good, or you may say that's crazy. Feel free, when this is published and you've got the show notes, to add your comments and your feedback. I would be really interested to hear what your thinking is.

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I listen to lots of podcasts. I am just not a fan of hearing the same ad, with the same Top 10 podcasters every time I listen to an episode, so I have elected not to do that. The question you may be asking is, “Well, that's great. You just have endless amounts of time and money to be a podcaster.” And, the answer is, no, I don't.

What I do as I look for good guests, and I try to treat them as well as I can. I like to promote their show as best as I can, and make it a a great experience for them. Guess what happens? A friendship, or at least a dialogue or a further dialogue begins. You've heard the saying that people buy from people that they like and they trust. Well, the best way to start to build trust for someone is to give before you ask.

A lot of years ago, I heard our pastor say, “If you're not bringing your wife roses, somebody will.” That really means that you need to treat people well before they're going to treat you well back. So, I've heard it said in another way, and that is, “You give away what you want.” If you want people to engage with you on social media, you need to engage. If you want them to comment on your post, well, start commenting on some posts.

If you want them to like your posts, well start liking their posts. If you want them to share your posts, well then start sharing their posts. That's my message today. It wasn't meant to be a rant. It's just something that's been on my mind. I was thinking after I had this conversation earlier with this gentlemen, who you'll probably have an opportunity to meet sometime in the near future, who just really took advantage of the fact that I put it out there. If you want to connect, connect with me.

He did. I just really encouraged him, just like I encourage you. You never know until you ask. I've always found that there are less people that are willing to ask, and there's more people who are just willing to talk about it or try to take the easy way, and that's to push the send button, whether it's an email or push the post button on social media, and just hope that something happens, and they not willing to take the next step.

I would welcome your comments, I would welcome your feedback. Hey, I welcome anytime you want to share or shout out my brand or my podcast to your followers, that's great too. But, that's not what I'm asking for. What I'm asking for is to connect. Look at different ways to connect. If we're connected on LinkedIn, don't be shy to add me on Facebook and Instagram. If you're connected on Instagram, don't be shy to add me to LinkedIn.

Just judge me by my actions. What you'll see is that there will be a connection, and where there is a connection, I'll probably follow you on the other platforms. Don't be surprised if you get a direct message from me that begins a dialogue to see if there's a way that I can serve you, or there's a way that we can collaborate together.

That's all I've got for you for this episode, just suggesting that you get out there and take some action. Pushing the post button on social media is just the beginning. Beyond that, you need to connect with real humans, whether it's on social continued conversation, or whether it's offline like I do, and have a telephone conversation.

Make sure that you're following us on the social media platforms as we publish there. Sign up for my email newsletter. We try to get a weekly email out with some tips and techniques and new tools that I'm using, and the email on the marketing space, if that is interesting to you. Feel free to shoot me your comments. I welcome you to tune back in next week.

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WHY DOESN'T SOCIAL MEDIA WORK?

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