In the past month, I have read several blog posts and comments on LinkedIn questioning the value of social media networks. David Meerman Scott, the author of The New Rules of Marketing, wrote a post about his recent speaking appearance at the Scale Up Conference in New Orleans.
During his presentation, Scott asked the audience for their feedback concerning social media networks. He discovered a majority of the attendees believed the networks failed to deliver on their promises.
In the past year, we’ve all watched Facebook come under fire for allowing companies to access our data only to discover the company hasn’t always been truthful either.
Seven years ago, I attended a Facebook event which featured well-known bloggers who were promoting the benefits of the network. The digital landscape was fresh, new, and exciting with everyone posting, tweeting and sharing content to drive up their Klout score. Remember those days?
Companies spent money to grab likes and shares. Friends and potential customers saw the content we shared. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon and rushed to find a way to use these powerful digital networks to drive new business and build consumer engagement.
Then 2017 arrived.
One news story after another, more problems surfaced, newsfeeds became crowded with junk. Individuals started deleting accounts or limiting their screen time. Companies discovered, even before 2017, bots were creating a false illusion of traffic by clicking on business ads.
We discovered likes didn’t mean instant sales because liking posts had become a habit similar to scrolling through cable channels in hopes of finding something better. Even today, we like stuff without giving the content much thought.
As an author, I am frequently asked, “Are you on Facebook?” I say yes, and the conversation stops. Even the habit of asking each other, “Are you on a social media?” has become dated.
At Dillon 5, we’re rethinking every part of our marketing efforts to develop the most effective strategy to increase awareness for our new service offerings and to promote the release of my new book in September. Our goal is to control when possible client and reader engagement from our websites rather than relying on a social media networks to share the content.
So, going forward our marketing efforts are people focused.
We’re building a better database for targeted email campaigns. We are creating groups based on key services and then will send out quarterly newsletters designed to help clients.
Second, the database is built in Excel, maintained, printed and backed up monthly. After losing irreplaceable content last month when the cloud service we used experienced an intense digital thunderstorm, I am backing up to a separate server and printing. I have comfort knowing that we have a printed copy of the database.
Another change is all the content we share, when possible, will originate from our websites. Regardless of what happens to social media networks, clients can find our content instead of having the information altered or buried because we didn’t purchase ads to promote the post. And then there is still no guarantee people will see the information.
We are scheduling more time to send out strategic recommendations. Before, I would share a news article or blog post about the topic with a few comments. Now, I am writing summary posts with suggestions.
For business referrals, I make sure we immediately express gratitude to the individual or business. Often, we get caught up in our perceived packed schedule and forget to thank people who are critical to our business.
Lastly, I always make sure I have business cards available because you never know when a random conversation can lead to a business opportunity.