I can remember that, as a kid, whenever we got into the car with my parents, going on a road trip that was not part of our normal routine, we got ready for adventure. Why? It wasn't so much that our destination was that adventurous. It was the trip itself. My dad was always looking for the perfect shortcut. The problem? They never shortened travel time. They either increased the time we spent in the car, or increased time spent in the car AND got us lost.
A funny family story, but it’s a whole different ball of wax if you’re constantly on the lookout for shortcuts as part of how you engage in marketing and running your business!
Marketing & Shortcuts Don’t Mix!I often see the same thing happening with newer social businesses as they embark on their social media marketing journeys. The marketer, the driver of this social media or digital marketing vehicle, gets excited by apps, tools and other shortcuts “guaranteed” to increase and maintain their fan/follower/connection base in lightning quick fashion.
Unfortunately, many of these shortcuts lead that marketer on a merry chase full of wrong turns, detours and one way only avenues that end up leaving the marketing campaign and the company lost and unsure where they are or how to get home.
“With record speed” and “get it fast” are phrases bandied about by many an app/online tool developer. They’re ever ready to promise you a shortened journey, a shortcut that will make everything quick, easy and painless. The problem is that successful social endeavors require that you actively take part in the journey. Shortcuts, while seemingly faster, often take you in divergent directions that detract from the real reasons your engaging in social media and digital marketing.
Relationships Take Time!Social media marketing is all about the relationship. And relationships can’t be rushed. They grow and change in their own unique time. Relationships that result in business are built on trust. You absolutely CANNOT rush the creation and maintenance of trust.
Shortcuts Ruin A Good Story!Social business relies heavily on the sharing of stories rather than sales tactics, telling rather than selling. What happens when you speed through a story? What exactly was the point? Key points get missed. The listener finds themselves unsure of the plot, the message. Sharing stories takes time.
While sharing is an integral part of social business, you can’t just share anything. It’s vital that you read and assess each item you think you might want to share. Rapid fire shares and retweets without reading often create bad business buzz. You might share a dead link, spam or worse. Do you want to be the marketer who shares information that is completely outdated or off base? I don’t think so!
Connections Count, So Take The Time To Connect Correctly!Yes, it’s important to build a following – you want someone to see and appreciate that great information you’re creating and sharing. But you can’t rush. All likes are not created equal. Same goes for followers on Twitter and circles on Google+.
What’s the point in rushing to like hundreds of pages? Are you hoping to get several hundred likes in return. It really doesn’t work like that anymore. Same goes with connecting on Twitter. Are you all about #teamfollowback? What’s the end goal of following anyone and everyone? You might get the numbers, but will you get:
- People who will actively take part in discussions?
- Content worthy of sharing?
- People willing to share your good content?
While the idea that you must follow to be followed on Twitter, or any other social media platform, is basically sound, again – you don’t want to just click the “follow” button without real intent.
Michael Hyatt states that “the higher your follower count, the more people assume you are an expert”, and therein lies the quandary for us. Do you want to be an “assumed” expert, that assumption based solely on one number? Or, would you rather be known as an expert based on the ideas, tips and tools shared? I’ll state openly that I prefer to work toward the latter.
Numbers for the sake of bigger numbers don’t have any real ROI. And yes, as much as social business is about the relationship over the sale, you have to consider and track ROI. There’s a purpose to the building of that relationship, one that your boss really wants to see well documented.
Shortcuts don’t build the types of numbers, the engaged and active communities, that help you put together the reports your boss, even if you’re the boss, wants to see. Careful planning, attention to detail and good old hard work build the relationships that build the numbers that net you positive ROI.
Skip the shortcuts and get busy creating that plan of action!