The marketing industry is sometimes its own worst enemy. “Social media marketing” has become a sort of Utopian ideal in the industry.
What it hasn’t become is a well-organized, efficient process. The mythology of social media has taken up space it doesn’t deserve in a hard-headed market like the online market. Real world social media marketing is based on working online content management and SEO, not myths.
Demythologizing the Social Media Market
Social media is exactly that. It’s a social process. Social media has proven that its interests are highly selective. It isn’t particularly geared to any particular sort of marketing, any more than a pool party. You can sell games, you can sell pool equipment, and you can sell accessories to the party. If you want this market to buy anything else you have to engage interested people, not blindly market to the world on the slight chance of someone finding your product.
There are a lot of people selling different things on these sites, but they’re selling to niches and groups, not broadcasting their sales pitches around the world. That’s the big issue for marketing. Niche marketing, like blogging, is a specialist range of markets within a much bigger market.
The Biggest Myth
The biggest myth of all, which is based on the sheer number of people on social media sites, is the other major issue for marketing. The mere fact that hundreds of millions of people use Facebook, Skype, MySpace or LinkedIn doesn’t mean hundreds of millions of customers. It means a percentage of those people may be interested in your product. Note everyone wants to buy a tractor or a skyscraper. Some people may want to buy subscriptions, but others won’t.
Ironically, another myth is based on ignoring the biggest market of the lot- The internet itself. If someone’s trying to buy something, the first thing they’ll do is research it online. That means web searching and SEO values are the main issue. They’ll also go direct to sites, bypassing the social media pages, unless those pages contain a lot of useful information.
Social Media – The Realities of Targeting
What sells online is targeted, meaningful information. What doesn’t sell is half- baked, wannabe materials which don’t work as sales leads or act as deterrents, like hype content. Social media is fussier still. If you were at a party trying to have fun, would you drop everything to be sold insurance? The insurance companies don’t sell to the social sites like that. They work with targeted information, based on the “This is useful” approach to content, and it works.
Social Media and the SEO Approach
Social media is better suited to the “SEO approach”. Social site searches are very like Google. They work on the same basic principles, if not quite as strictly. The social media content, therefore, must be accurately targeted to user needs.
The reality is that “social media” is based on self-interest. People on social sites are looking for materials which are useful to them. If you’ve seen some of the car collector pages, you’ll get the idea. These pages have real value to social site users, and that’s exactly how you need to target your social media marketing.
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