A former client of mine is anxious to get her business off the ground and has bought into the “hype” surrounding social media. She doesn’t understand it – but she’s pretty sure that social media is the key to getting her business off the ground.
We worked together for about six months and parted on good terms. While I’m obsessed about creating a marketing strategy, where we define where you are now, who your customers are and the marketing messages you send based on those customers’ GDP – she was convinced that there had to be an easier way.
By the way, that “easier” way often takes the form of chasing every shiny new social media tool that comes down the pike. Instead of evaluating “is this where my customers are?” and more important, “is this somewhere my customers WILL BE?” it’s easier to say, “Hey – this is new and this is fun. Let’s do this!”
I wasn’t surprised when I got a friends request recently from her on Facebook. I accepted and was immediately barraged by an avalanche of marketing messages from her. It was like the beating of a drum.
BONG! Buy from me.
BONG! Sign up for my email newsletter so you can buy from me.
BONG! Visit my website so you’ll buy from me.
There wasn’t a single update along the lines of “I just finished reading a book I couldn’t put down” from someone who is NOT the author of the book.
There were no personal notes along the lines of “my kid’s birthday is today.”
There wasn’t a single personal connection point and there wasn’t any indication that a human being was behind the picture or any of the messages.
Just the steady beat of the drum.
BONG! Buy from me. BONG! Buy from me. BONG! Buy from me.
I emailed her and said, “Hey – you’re going to get your Facebook account shut down if you keep that up.”
By the time she returned my email six hours later, it was too late. Facebook didn’t like her tactics any more than I did.
It was in her return email that I learned that she had hired an intern to “help” her with her social media marketing.
She actually paid someone to trash her reputation on Facebook.
I have no idea what the going rate is to pay someone to learn the ins and outs of social media marketing while they get you banned from various social media outlets. I mean, I get paying someone to GUIDE you – someone who’s “been there, done that” but that obviously was not the case here.
What I don’t is understand is paying someone who obviously has no idea how this whole “social media” scenes works to impersonate you because after all – it’s your reputation on the line.
I quit working outside the home and launched my business 12 years ago because it bothered me that I was paying someone else to raise my children. Because of that decision, I missed out on such amenities as paid vacations and 401K plans – but I gained control over how my children were being raised. I’ll admit – the hardest part was shortly after I began working from home when my oldest son began BEGGING me to send him to the after school care. When I told him that was for kids whose mommies worked outside the home- he told me to go get a job.
I assume that my former client thought that hiring someone to do her social media for her was along the lines of hiring a nanny. However, your child knows the difference between Mommy and the nanny. When you hire someone to perform your social media marketing – this person is doing more than acting in your name – they are IMPERSONATING you.
When my client’s marketing barrage appeared in my Facebook stream – it wasn’t the intern’s face that appeared next to those updates – it was my client’s face!
My client said in the email that she has signed up again with a new name and a new email and asked her intern to “slow down”.
As for me, I’ll be ignoring the next friends request I get from her. Why bother?
First, it’s not HER I’m connecting with – it’s her intern. Her intern already sent me a friends request and I already accepted that.
Second, now that I know WHY she’s on Facebook – well, I’m not in the market for the services she’s selling. Why sign up for another barrage?
Social media is a GREAT way to connect with people. It’s a LOUSY form of direct marketing. If you want to barrage your potential customers with your marketing message – use direct mail. Those kind of “in your face” sales hype tactics WORK in direct mail and other forms of direct marketing. Billy Mays’ sales tactics worked well in direct marketing – they are AWFUL when practiced in social media!