Social media reality check – again

(Originally posted to my SystemVideoBlog.com April 22, 2010)

Social media is hot.

It’s also one of the hottest refuges for scammers and BS artists.

I recently made the mistake of doing some pro bono work for a good cause run by amateurs. (Long story and a mistake I will never repeat. Not the pro bono part, the working with amateurs.)

Throughout the process, I was told that I must meet with this social marketing expert and that one, the idea being they have something of such great value to bring to the table that it’s more important than actually getting the job done. (These folks LOVE meetings. They don’t like work.)

Meanwhile, I patiently try to explain to these wing nuts that the only currency that means anything in Internet marketing, whether you’re selling something or promoting a great cause, is the size of your e-mail list (prospects and customers). Not how many “friends” you have, how many people “follow” you on Twitter, or how much chatter there is about you in the blogosphere.

Hey, I like Twitter and I know people who get some good things from Facebook, but I don’t know anyone who would trade a solid e-mail list to become king of Twitter or Facebook.

Conversely, I know plenty of social media masters who are one step away from living in a “van down by the river.” (Google it. If you don’t know the Saturday Night Live routine that phrase is from, you’re in for some serious laughter.)

Anyway, after listening the the millionth social media “genius” I took a look at some of my own social media stats. (My social media weapon of choice being video.)

Here are my numbers:

1. I’ve pushed one video over the 2,800,000 views mark
2. I’ve pushed two over the 1,200,000 views mark
3. I’ve pushed seventeen over the 100,000 view mark (sixteen singehandedly, one in partnership)

Total cash expenditure: zero dollars.

It was all accomplished by viral marketing, also know as “word of mouth” and all these hits were kicked off by mailing to an e-mail list. No Twitter. No Facebook.

I’m sure there are social media “gurus” who could turn these stats into speaking gigs at the latest social media conferences, television appearances, and books on how to “crush it.”

Me?

I’m very unimpressed by my own accomplishments.

Why?

I’m in SALES.

How many leads did I generate? How many sales did I close? How many people did I induce to come back and buy a second and third and fourth time?

Let’s get real folks.

Social media is gravy.

You better have some meat to put it on or you’re going to have an awfully sad dinner.

Focus on what matters.


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