Tom Wanek teaches students The Six Currencies That Buy Credibility in the class he teaches with Mike Dandridge at Wizard Academy, Fight the Big Boys and Win. Register early for the class coming up in April and you're guaranteed a room in Engelbrecht House, Wizard Academy's student mansion.
What can can be accomplished using social media?
Awareness. Gaining feedback about your products or services. Some will speak of relationship building or deepening. While I concede this is possible, I question whether a small business can generate a positive ROI from these activities. I've only seen this approach consistently work for bloggers who do little else but blog. And social media is not an activity that is scalable as one's popularity grows. Consider the time commitment to interact with the 40,000+ subscribers to the MMM. As a fellow introvert, I'd rather slide down a razor blade mountain into an alcohol river.
More importantly: What cannot be accomplished using social media?
Mass persuasion. Consider that Twitter allows for no more than 140 characters. What if my story takes more than 140 characters to tell? (AdWords falls into the same boat.) And the appeal of social media is interaction. That is, communicating one-on-one with your customers. And as I've mentioned, this is an activity that is not scalable.
What are the biggest misuses of social media?
First, spamming people with unsolicited offers. Second, telling me that you just walked your dog. I don't give a shit.
What are the biggest myths regarding social media?
That social media will result in direct and steady income for your business. Or that social media can replace the need for traditional advertising and basic marketing principles.
I believe social media is of value to “networkers,” bloggers, consultants, salesmen, etc. But larger businesses will find it difficult to see a payoff. I tried using social media to market a jewelry client. My efforts consisted of designing a contest to get people interested in the product. The results were abysmal.
Many businesses are jumping onto the social media bandwagon as a result of hype and bad advice. I've been asked to speak at a conference near my hometown. Of the four speakers, I'm the only one who doesn't claim to be a “social media guru.” I'm alarmed at the number of small business owners who struggle with foundational marketing principles. For example, the idea of speaking to the customer's felt need is a foreign concept to most. Social media won't help if your message is irrelevant. Now here's another point to consider: With so much of social media being irrelevant noise, it's becoming much more difficult to cut through the clutter, making it more critical than ever that marketers learn to communicate clearly and with power.