There are so many different elements in creating an effective online marketing presence, and your social media efforts will often be reliant on these elements to achieve optimal results. That means you need some level of knowledge in everything, or alternatively, you need reliable consultants you can call on as required. But one of the challenges we've faced in this, is finding credible online marketers to assist in such efforts.
I've met the shams - the search engine optimization experts who 'keyword websites' and call it SEO, web developers who don't know the difference between blog and email spam, and email marketers who buy lists and boast a 50% open rate for an audience not at all related to the brand.
When it comes to social media consultants, I shake my head daily. Prospective customers vetting other companies often tell us what they're being offered. The responses are so common, that I've created identities for the types of businesses that are our so-called competition.
These are the folks who typically have had success in one thing and they try to replicate it across the board. These stand-alone tactics may not even be relevant to the business, but because they built a name for themselves, people call them.
Alternatively, there's the all-in-one company. These are the folks who claim to do it all - and don't do any of it well. They throw a myriad of services under their umbrella to claim market share.
Agencies are notorious for this, but I also see a lot of small businesses do it, too, because they want to offer value to their customers who ask if they also (fill in the blank).
Used car salesmen
These guys use spammy tactics that may sound good, but lack substance.
Get 10,000 fans to your page. This is just silly. Social proof is important, but not if none of the fans are real. Facebook's News Feed algorithm is smart - if you have 10,000 fans and no one's engaging in your content, good luck getting any real fans to see it.
These companies turn social media management into a bargain bin. Pay $99 a month for five social media sites. Any company that claims to manage social media for $99 a month is likely posting the same content to 50 other companies sites' and calling it a day.
Posting content - regardless of its usefulness - is only one piece of the pie. There are dozens of other components that make a complete social media plan.
Social media shams are a dime a dozen. To be effective, social media requires a cohesive marketing strategy that ties social media goals to business outcomes.
Despite what you may hear, there's no one-size-fits-all or stand-alone tactic that will generate results. The success of a social media plan is often reliant on other established online marketing components, such as a well-built website. These pieces work together to create a holistic presence greater than the individual parts.