social media magic pill“Want to become an overnight success? I have the perfect system! Take this perfect social pill for only $995 and you too can be as socially cool as I am!  It's easy.  You will be a millionnaire and you won't even have to work as hard as I did.  No social media plan, product or business is necessary.  You will be the social butterfly at every youth soccer and football game.  Twitter bluebirds will follow you you every where you go! Your hair will turn blue to the perfect color to blend with both Twitter and Facebook.  You won't have to lift a finger.  Just take this social media pill and you will be an instant social media rockstar! It will save you thousands.  First buy my pill. Okay?  I will see you on the next tele-seminar.  Hurry as there are only a few magic rockstar pills left.  One could be yours!”

Okay, let's get real folks. Just as we know there is no magic weight loss or magic love pill, there is also no magic social media pill.  You can not overnight take a pill, buy a DVD or install a widget that will take you to instant social rockstar status. Being called a “social media rockstar” is probably not what you want anyway.

I am not stating that the systems for sale all stink.  I am however advising that you can not believe one system, two systems or even three systems that turn you into Ms Social Saavvy are what is going to save your business. Why you ask? Because you need a BUSINESS system.  You need a business plan, a marketing plan, a sales plan.  Oh and don't forget you need a product. And customers who need and want the product are more than a big added bonus ;)

30 Tips to Keep You Safe From The Social Pill Pushers

1. There are many good “systems” out there.  Just make sure you have a business, a product and an idea of what you want to achieve prior to forking out $995. You may end up spending thousands searching for the “perfect pill” when in reality  the true cure can only be concocted within the walls of your own business, mind and heart!

2. Social media requires more than taking your existing marketing plan and replacing the word “email” with “Facebook” or “Twitter”!

3. Social Media is NOT as a STAND ALONE  initiative going to save your business.

4. Social media must be INTEGRATED with your business, marketing, sales and customer services plans to achieve real results.

5. Social media is NOT a BOLT-ON to an existing business.

6. Social media should be implemented in the DNA of what your company is, believes, does, provides and communicates. INVITE your customers to join your community at every opportunity possible.

7. Social media does NOT REPLACE business and marketing 101!

8. Social media does not replace the need to COMMUNICATE with your partners, customers and employees in greater than 140 characters.

9. Social media is NOT FREE and should be properly planned, funded and resourced just as you would any other marketing initiative.

10. Social media still requires the need to CONNECT with your audience AUTHENTICALLY even though it is tempting to blast noise in 140 characters.

11. Having 10k Twitter followers does not justify increase in a budget assuming the launch of your new product will secure sales to the same percentage of Twitter followers that you use for other marketing campaigns and lists. Metrics do not align 1:1. For example, do not use the same assumed conversion rates for Twitter followers you would for an email blast.

12. Just because you have thousands of Twitter followers, it does not mean they are all listening or will even see your content.

13. A community built using primarily social media still requires constant NURTURING just as you would do with any other type of method. RELATIONSHIPS TAKE WORK and must be nurtured if you ever want them to become profitable.

14.  Yes, social media can amplify your voice when INTEGRATED with a REAL BUSINESS!

15.  You are not the only one in your niche, industry and town implementing social media to differentiate.  Chances are many of your competitors are already ahead of you. Take the time to do it right.

16. Quality of content still matters even when it's only 140 characters.

17. Quality of community members still matter. Do more than use an automated tool to build your social following.  Try compelling content, personality and sharing your real goods!

18. Just because you can hide behind an avatar doesn't mean you should.  Chances are you will get overlooked.

19. Social media will amplify your weaknesses and possibly even drag some skeletons out of the closets.  Don't try to hide them.  Instead embrace them.  Deal with them.  Chances are they weren't as hidden from your audiences as you thought they were.

20.  Social media is not going away.  Yes, it will morph.  It may be called something different in a year.  One thing is true. The old ways of connecting, communicating and engaging are evolving.  Get on the bus or be left behind.

21. Social media requires LISTENING with the objective to UNDERSTAND, KNOW and authentically CONNECT with your AUDIENCE.

22. Social media takes work, dedication, time and budget.

23. A conversion funnel is not an option, but a requirement.  You will need much more than a magic pill.  You need systems that support lead capture, lead nurturing, community building and engaging, tracking, monitoring, converting, upsell, affiliate, referral and more!

24.  Your social media team requires more than an intern with a Facebook account, marketing manager who knows how to write a tweet and the employee who has 4 recommendations on LinkedIn! Be careful who you trust your business with! Social media should be about more than tweeting! Integrate it with your BUSINESS!

25.  You get out of social media what you put into it.  Put in junk, out will come junk.

26. If a social media consultant or agency starts asking the hard questions, don't assume they are trying to make your life difficult or desire perfection.  Chances are they know what they are doing and may actually know how to help you integrate social media to drive real business!

27.  Do NOT wait until 4 weeks before the “big launch” to engage a social media consultant or agency.  Instead social media should be an integral component to your plan from day one! Invite them to the pre-planning party!

28.   If a social media consultant tells you your website from the 80's or 90's will work perfect for your upcoming social media campaign…. RUN as FAST as you can! Websites of today are not the same as 5 years ago.  They are an integral part of social media. Integrate early on for the highest possible ROI!

29. Social media requires communication, content, and a reason for people to listen.  You are not the only one blasting bits and bytes in 140  characters.  Use it as an integrated weapon to deliver a message, support a campaign, conduct research and understand your audience.  Focus on value at every turn of listening, learning, speaking, inspiring and engaging.

30.  Beware of any social media pill pusher.  Ask for references.  Do your research.  If it seems too good to be true… it probably is!