I feel humbled when someone says that I’m a guru in social media, but the truth is that I’m not a guru. Neither a social media guru nor a marketing guru. The whole word guru sounds cheesy to me. I don’t believe in all the hype about social media gurus and I believe that the majority that say they are gurus in social media are not. That’s why you should never hire a social media guru to work for your brand because it would be just a waste of money.
4 years ago I attended a conference in Twickenham, London on iStrategy. It was a digital marketing conference where I had the privilege to meet thought leaders in marketing and advertising like Brian Solis and Ken Segall among others. The keynote speaker was Brian Solis. When he was giving his speech he mentioned that he is not a digital marketing guru and he explained why. Digital marketing is a new industry, everybody is learning it. I thought to myself that this guy is an author of two books (Engage & The Future Of Business) and he is telling 500 people that he is not a digital marketing guru. There are other people that started doing social media last week and already branding themselves as social gurus without having the experience of selling a cup of coffee in the real world or online.
Being an expert in social media is like being an expert in taking the bread out of the refrigerator. You can be the best bread-taker in the world, but you know what? The goal is to make a delicious sandwich and sell the sandwich, and you can’t do that if all you’ve done in your life is taken the bread out of the fridge and then ate the ready made sandwich.
Let’s remind ourselves what marketing is. Every business sells services, ideas or products. Social media is just another channel in marketing and customer service. Say it with me. Repeat it until you know it by heart. Social media by itself, will not help you.
It’s the same thing that happened during the DotCom era, where everyone thought that just adding the term .com to a corporate logo made you instantly credible. It didn’t. If the only thing you did was add a DotCom to your logo back then you would be out of business in six months. Like I said in one of my videos marketing is about branding, story telling, content marketing, and connecting on an emotional level with your existing and potential clients before you sell anything to them.
I met with someone recently and he said the following: ”Building a website is not important anymore! Social media is so much cooler! It’s all about having loads of likes, followers and engagement”.
It’s all about relevance. It’s not about tweeting every time you have a special offer or a new deal. Everybody has special offers, everybody has a similar price and it hurts my feelings when I see all those budgets being wasted on irrelevant offers and useless marketing activities. It’s about finding out where your customers actually are, where the ATTENTION is. ATTENTION I believe is the most important thing that we need to focus. Speaking of attention, how about using Instagram and Snapchat and not only Facebook? Marketing involves knowing your audience and tailoring your campaigns even promotions in specific bursts to the correct segments.
”Social media experts” don’t know this. They’ll build you a fan page and then when all that work doesn’t convert into new sales, they’ll simply say, ”Well, we’ll post more.”
Business people like you know that they have to research, read articles like this one and get a second opinion. Go ahead ask a ”social media expert” how do you create emotional connection, how do you create loyalty and why people buy. Then laugh as they quickly ask Google for help to find a simple answer.
For me marketing is much more than a Facebook like, a tweet, a snap or an email campaign. It’s about much more than that. Marketing is about creating an emotional connection with consumers and selling to them our products or services. If we don’t sell, we will run out of business within six months to a year.
Social media is not ”cool”. MAKING MONEY IS COOL. As much as I love social media they are simply another channel (which is actually expensive). The most important skill in business and marketing is people skills. Period. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.