Marketing Mondays: Social Media Misconceptions

I know I haven\’t posted Marketing Mondays for a few weeks. A little project called the July/August issue of Western Horse Review got in the way. Today, it went to press. We all took a deep breath. Had a nap. And, we\’re back. Refreshed and ready for the circle of life in our little world once again. . .

I began Marketing Mondays way back in late February; it\’s designed as a one-stop source for all you will ever need to know to make a million bucks in the horse biz.

Just kidding.

If you find the person who does have this information, please send her to me. And, yes, I\’ve already heard the \”start with two million dollars” one. Hardey har har.

Really, I\’m just here to share what I learned, as well as the marketing gems of others I find in my travels. After all, many of us are in one genre or another, in the business of horses, and I think it\’s a great idea to pool our resources and share what we know. This is my forum for doing so. Here\’s a quick link to the beginning of this column. From there you can click on Next Links to read all of my Monday posts. You\’ll find posts on social media, generational trends and how they affect the horse industry, a tool to help you rate your website, designing an effective print ad, four signs your marketing plan is working, a guide to getting internet famous, and even, how to insert a pinpointed map to your location on your website. Cool tools and thoughts from great marketers in our midst.

Today, I want to pass on a great article about what Social Media is, and is not.


Website developer and www.westernhorsereview tech extraordinaire, John Holloway, recently shared this great piece with me, which really shucks out the idea that social media is a marketing plan, and quite succinctly spells out why we need to regard it as a marketing tool, instead. It\’s written by Peter Shankman, who is the founder of HARO (Help A Reporter Out), and is generally regarded as one of the top marketing consultants and speakers working today. For reasons of brevity, I\’ve only excerpted a portion of his article here. You can find a link to the entire piece at the end of this excerpt.

“Social media is just another facet of marketing and customer service. Say it with me. Repeat it until you know it by heart. Bind it as a sign upon your hands and upon thy gates. Social media, by itself, will not help you.

“We’re making the same mistakes that we made during the DotCom era, where everyone thought that just adding the term .com to your corporate logo made you instantly credible. It didn’t. If that’s all you did, you emphasized even more strongly how pathetic your company was. You weren’t “building a new paradigm while shifting alternate ways of focusing customers on the clicks and mortar of an organizational exchange.” No — you were simply an idiot who’d be out of business in six months.

“Ready for the ultimate kicker? We still haven’t learned! Rather than embracing this new technology and merging it with what we’ve learned already, we’re throwing off our clothes and running naked in the rain, waving our hands in the air, sure that this time it’ll be different, because this time it’s better! ‘It’s not about building a website anymore! It’s so much cooler! It’s about Facebook, and fans, and followers, and engagement, and influence, and…’

It\’s about generating revenue through solid marketing and stellar customer service, just like it\’s been since the beginning of time.

“It’s about using the tools to market to an audience that wants to help tell your story, because you’ve been awesome at providing them with the service they deserve.

“It’s about relevance. It’s not about tweeting every single time your company offers 10 percent off on a thingamabob. It’s about finding out where your customers actually are, and going after them there. If you’re tweeting all your discounts, and none of your customers are on Twitter, then you sir, are an idiot.

“Don’t be that guy.

Marketing involves knowing your audience, and tailoring your promotions in specific bursts to the correct segments. Real marketers know when to market using traditional methods, social media or even word of mouth.

“It’s also about brevity. You know what the majority of people calling themselves social media experts can’t do, among other things? THEY CAN’T WRITE. Good writing is brevity, and brevity is marketing. Want to lose me as a customer, forever, guaranteed? Have a grammar error on any form of outward communication.

“Finally, it’s about knowing your customer, and making sure your customer thinks of you first. Do you know your audience? Have you reached out to them? I’m not talking about “tweeting at them.” I’m talking about actually reaching out. Asking them what you can do better, or asking those who haven’t been around in a while what you can do to get them back.

“Social media is simply another arrow in the quiver of marketing, and that quiver is designed to GENERATE REVENUE.”

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