Social Media is a fad

Yes, social media is hot right now and yes, everyone is talking about it, and yes, every time you turn around some mainstream publication is writing about the millions of people on Twitter.

If you’re thinking social media will go away, you’ve got a long wait. This is because social media is basically an activity we’ve all been doing since the beginning of time: talking with each other.

Thanks to the Internet, it’s now easier to connect with people – whether in the same town or across the globe.

Although the urge to connect with others will not go away, how we connect with people online will continue to evolve. When the Internet first came into play, we had Internet bulletin boards and email list serves.

A few years ago MySpace and Friendster were the “hot” platforms; however, both have been supplanted by Facebook and Twitter – and these, too, can quickly fade or get bought out by other companies. (This is why it’s important you use these tools as part of your marketing strategy and not your only marketing strategy.)

Hence, it really pays to be conversant with the social media tools available – because while the tools will change, the ability to seamlessly connect with your customers and colleagues wherever they are online will only add more value to you and your job.

Social Media takes too much time for little return

As a results-based marketer, determining ROI from social media is something I still struggle with. With traditional marketing, you send out a direct mail letter and get how ever many responses, and a certain percentage of those responses go on to become sales – giving you a fairly easy way to calculate ROI.

Social media doesn’t always work this way because it takes time to build a network and community online. You have to log on every day and see what people are saying. You have to Retweet posts, read other people’s blogs, follow conversations, answer Questions on LinkedIn, and respond to friends on Facebook.

So it can be difficult to determine if people begin doing business with you because you responded to their Twitter posts, they read a comment you left on a blog and then clicked through to your site, or they watched your YouTube video.

However, social media does work – if you see it as a tool for connecting with people and listening to them versus pushing out tired press releases and product pitches. As you connect with others, your network grows. As you listen, you get to know people (your customers) and their challenges, likes and dislikes, and even their online habits.

You begin to know people for who they really are – versus simply seeing them as a name and job function – and that is where the magic starts to happen. Why? Simply put, people do business with people they trust.

Social media can help you build this trust.