February 24, 2014
Why I Have A Blog, A Facebook Page, And A Twitter Account
People often accuse me of being hypocritical. They say I am constantly whining about online advertising yet I have all the online gizmos.
They say, "If social media is not an effective business driver, why do you have a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed?"
Or, "If online advertising isn't a very good business driver, why do you have a website?"
The answer is, there are certain costs associated with being in business. You need business cards, you need a sign over the door, and you need office furniture. These items do not create much in the way of sales but are essential to doing business.
Online presence has become one of these.
Those of us who were around in the middle 90's can remember when having a website was thought to be the magical road to success. Some companies that announced they were launching a website actually saw their stock prices increase. Today, a company launching a website is greeted with as much excitement as announcing they are painting the break room.
With the exception of online retailers, having a website today is understood to offer a business advantage of pretty close to zero. And yet every company has one. Why? It is a cost of doing business.
The same is true of social media. Five years ago every company in the world was rushing headlong into social media with the expectation that magic would ensue. In fact, while there have been a handful of notable successes, the advantages that social media offered most companies were small if at all, and have continued to provide diminishing returns as every company, every organization, and every individual on the planet now has some kind of social media presence.
It has become clear that a Facebook page or a blog is not the fabulous sales driver we were all promised. It's not much more than an online business card.
Adopting a technological innovation does not necessarily lead to a marketing advantage. Often times it just represents a new cost of doing business.
A perfect example is the telephone. When first introduced, having a telephone must have seemed to be a remarkable business advantage. But as every business quickly acquired one, having one provided no business advantage at all. It just became a new cost.
Just like traditional advertising, it's pretty hard for most businesses to draw a straight line between a website, a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed, and sales results.
You don't have them because they are the magic that all the bullshit artists promised.
You have them for the same reason you have a business card -- because you kinda have to.