The Prostitution Approach to Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is about relationship building and nurturing those relationships into business transactions. Like any relationship, it generally takes time to nurture and build trust. The sad fact is that we are a very impatient society and how some choose to engage social media marketing is no different.
In the offline world, if one wants to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex it takes time. Some aren't really interested in the relationship, however, they just want the sex, and for this they solicit prostitutes. Similarly, in the social media world, some would rather have meaningless engagements so they do the equivalent by purchasing fans, followers, and community members. Just like a prostitute could develop a relationship with a random customer, social media community members that are "bought" could take an interest in your brand. In reality, neither are very likely.
I have to tell you, it's generally a waste of time to use the tactics that some suggest such as using sites like Fiverr to buy fans. If you want proof, here is an open dialogue I had with someone who sells likes via Fiverr. I engaged this person after reading an article on Social Media Today that suggested buying fans from sites like Fiverr was a good strategy. Frankly, I was surprised to see an article touting this as a valid tactic on Social Media Today, but I learned that they are open to having even views that could mislead others shared, which was disappointing.
Anyhow, here is a screenshot of my dialogue with a guy selling Facebook likes (and he may or may not be the one recommended in the article) :-) :
I am not sure why I feel the need to protect him, but it's probably because I don't have enough free time to respond to any hate mail. So here is a guy in another country, and he is verifying that not only are these "likes" not even in my country, but they aren't even valid. I have to applaud him for at least being honest about being a scammer (although my head spins when I think about the irony). Even if he was "outed" he would just open up a new Fiverr account and keep racking up rupees (that is the currency of India, in case you didn't know).
In the end, social media marketing is about making money, right? When people ask me who is a good prospect for me, I tell them "anyone who uses social media to market and didn't get a referral within the last week." I don't say this arrogantly, but I get leads & referrals that lead to business consistently. My biggest challenge is consistent follow up, not needing more leads. There is a system to building value through social media and converting fans and followers to prospects and customers. Most people that I speak with are not having success in converting, and that includes many who are selling social media marketing services.
If you are using the "Prostitution Approach" to social media marketing, you might be getting a fix in terms of numbers, but you are most likely not building business relationships that lead to profit. Start courting your target market today! You'll feel better about what you do... AND you will actually make your social media activities profitable.
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