October 13, 2014
The First Rule Of Social Media
Like most companies, you are probably spending time, energy, and money trying to become a social media success.
You have been told that it is an inexpensive route to business prosperity and that if you can get it right, you can build waves of loyal customers and years of smooth sailing through the roiling waters of marketing and advertising.
You've read about the millions of followers this brand or that person has and you think that if you can create some "compelling content" you, too, will be a social media winner.
I'm afraid I have bad news.
It doesn't matter how "compelling" or "engaging" your "content" is, for the most part it's likely that nobody gives a shit about you.
The first rule of social media is this:
People on line are interested in the same things they are interested in off line.
They are interested in celebrities, sports, movies, pop music, television, their hobbies, and their friends. It is highly likely that they are not interested in you.
They are not interested in frozen chicken strips or dishwashing liquid or floor wax or pencils or salt. They are not interested in toasters or light bulbs or umbrellas or mayonnaise or paper clips or toothpaste or soap. In fact, they have very little interest in most of the stuff they buy every week.
Consequently, if you are in the 97% of product categories (made-up number alert) that are not interesting off line, you will have a strong tendency to remain not interesting on line. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.
The thing you need to keep in mind is that every company, organization, dry cleaner, cub scout pack, sorority house, interest group, charity, alumni association, and poker game now has a social media presence. There are a billion of 'em.
If you are not in movies, sports, TV, and music, or if you are not a "prom queen" brand (Apple, Nike, Coke or one of the other brands that have spent billions of dollars establishing themselves with traditional advertising) the probability of your social media program being powerfully effective is quite low.
This is why social media continues to struggle as a sales builder.
Yes, it is true that some unsexy companies sometimes break through on social media. And it's also true that some people win the lottery.
But buying a lottery ticket is a very dubious business strategy.