social media band-aidIt's not like we didn't tell ya' folks. How many blog posts have you read which have  tried to explain in the form of tips, how to guides, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, radio shows, in depth blog posts and more that social media is about more than a Facebook page or Twitter following.

As Facebook and other networks are rolling out more intelligent algorithms, advertising and revenue platforms the game is changin'.

For those who have been swingin' band-aids, quick fixes and magic social carpet rides it may come as a surprise. If you have been paying attention or have half the brain your Twitter profile states you do then this shouldn't be a surprise.

Everything is changing. What was free is becoming fee. Where we use to play we now are having to pay or soon will be.

Facebook owes you nothing. You built your business on a free platform. You increased your brand awareness, reach, community and knowledge. Unless you were purchasing ads from Facebook, chances are you did this without paying anything to Facebook.

While I do not agree with everything Facebook does, is doing or will be doing, they also need to make money to be able to support all the people who are paying nothing, right? It reminds me somewhat of MLM business models. Somewhere somebody has to pay.

I do hope Facebook will reach deep inside and find the right code of integrity and ethics, not charge us to get our content in front of the audience we built which helped build them. However, there is no guarantee Facebook is going to do what is ethically right. Are you willing to risk your entire business on a platform that you can not control their ethics, motives or strategy? I sure hope not!

The Truth About Social Band-aids:

social media band aid truths1. Social media is only one of many mediums to connect you with your audience.

2. While a Facebook strategy on it's own may very well work for you and your business, for most business's a single Facebook page is not going to save your business, reinvent your business or help you become an overnight millionaire. You should keep a platform you own such as a blog or website your hub. Never should something you do not own or control become the hub of your online existence.

3.  The only guarantee in social media and social business is change. Get use to it.

4. It is not about the next best thing! Lead with results, not the next new shiny object.

5. Without a plan that includes specific goals, objectives and a plan to integrate into your business you are going to continue to be frustrated at the changes of Facebook and every other network.

6. If you build an integrated business platform that includes Facebook, not built solely on Facebook you will see higher results at a lower cost. It's called integrated marketing.

7. Yes, integrated marketing is still a word and it still works. I don't care if you are tired of the word or not. I use it and I implement it with my clients with results. Some of the best clients are those who already know, understand and appreciate the word and those who at minimum are willing to listen to us and learn how to do such.

8. There is no social media guru or expert that can get you thru the next few years of  changes in online marketing at a good as or better return on investment as you slowing down right now to do the right things for your business and integrate social media the right way.

9. Hiring a self proclaimed “social media guru” with no knowledge of real business or experience integrating marketing across business is not going to save the day. It falls in the same court as thinking Facebook is going to save the day. You must have leadership within your internal team and within the team you outsource work to that understands business. They must understand how you can integrate and prioritize social into the right areas of your business for the highest return.

10. You must know your audience. Who are they? What makes them tick? What keeps them up at night. What problems do they have? How are you going to help them solve their problems, reach their goals?

11. You must offer unique, compelling value. How are you going to help your audience? How are you going to inspire and connect with them? How are you going to stand out from the crowd. A band-aid is not inspiring me to hang out with you.

12. Buying friends and followers does not equal social proof or integration. Just because you have 10,000 fake “likers” on Facebook doesn't mean I think you're more popular. Same thing goes for purchasing tens of thousands of  Twitter followers yet you are only following 1/10 of them. Both of these scenarios can be a red flag for lack of social proof. If you have 10,000 Facebook fans but are only getting a few “likes” and comments on your page then it's obvious something fishy is going on. I'd rather see 500 fans with an engaged audience!

13. It's what happens after the Facebook page that matters most. Why should I ever come back to your page after clicking like? Even if I like you and your other fans don't like you, the chances are I may never see your content as your Facebook Edgerank is so low it isn't getting seen.

earn your friends not buy followers14. Yes, you may have to eventually pay more money to get your content seen by more eyeballs. It's called marketing. It's called “not free marketing.” It's why the band-aids don't work. Earn your friends don't buy them. Earning them becomes much easier when you are inspiring them to connect and engage with your brand via real and valuable content.

15. You can either choose to keep throwing your money at the Facebook machine or you can take some of the same money and invest it into your business, your audience, your community, your platforms and integrate it into the DNA of your business via  a plan that will bring results. I know which one I choose!

16. Work smarter, not harder. Although taking the band-aid off may seem like a lot of work now. Yes, you have sores and wounds to heal. However, trust me, it is a lot easier and will bring a much higher return if you spend the next 12 months developing and executing a real plan that is integrated with more than Facebook.

17. Don't just “do social”, or “be social”. Be socially relevant and you won't care what Facebook does next week. Trust me, it works!

18. Time to get to work? Go make it happen & quit crying over that bike crash. It isn't easy. Pick yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off, build a team of people who can help you and go get-r-done!

What we believe…

The Heartbeat of Social is People. You must learn, understand and get in the head of the people. You must then figure out how you can leverage and integrate social media to help your business reach and connect with the people in a way that brings them value & helps you both meet your business goals!

What You Say? 

What are your thoughts? Are you one who also sings this song and have been trying to help businesses understand? Or are you one who has held on to the hope that it was Facebook that would save your day and business? Or are you one who doesn't know what to think because there are so many people preachin' false stories and singin' songs of fame and fortune via fans and likes? Have you had a “wake up call” that can help others that may be in the same shoes where you were?

I encourage an open, fun and real dialog on this post. State your opinion but be nice to others. I do not tolerate trolls, bad language or all out rudeness. However, differing opinions are always welcome. It's how we learn, grow and prosper in both life and business.

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