I just got an email touting a live webinar on social media. The message was in my spam filter (which I check occasionally for potential topics for my “misADventures” group on Facebook), which is where it belonged. For just $69, I can log on later today to learn the “magic mix” for using social media to build my business. Only a few spots are left, so I should register now!
Magic mix for social media. $69.
Ladies and gents, there is not a “magic mix.” And if more people charge $69 to tell you there is, we’re in the midst of a “massive mix-up.” Social media, like any PR or marketing effort, comes with a gestation period. Sure, there are always those businesses that defy the odds and enjoy near-magical kismet. But for most of us in the work-a-day world, there’s not a social media lotto for which we can spend $69 to get the winning numbers, a.k.a. the effortless “magic mix.”
I’ve only recently had the chance to create social media proposals for some of my clients. Down in the foxhole, many of the businesses I work with have been intrigued by social media but hesitant to venture out. Honestly, as strongly as I feel about the need to move forward with social media as part of a full marketing plan, I’d rather coax a company that’s hesitant than try to reign in a company jazzed to gulp the “magic mix.”
Who wouldn’t want magically quick ROI, fast responses, immediate sales, increased market share? Especially in our present economic state, some clients already known to tap their feet and look at their watches awaiting results are displaying even less patience. The last thing I want is for those clients to hear there’s a “magic mix” and expect me to hold the wand.
Social media, much like traditional PR, takes time. The seeds must be planted properly and nurtured consistently in order for fruit to come in season. Much like I’ve long managed clients’ expectations about the pay-off of PR, I’m now advising the same for social media. In every proposal I’m writing, I include a statement about the need for long term commitment to make social media truly effective.
Two weeks ago, a client who’d pulled their PR retainer at the start of ’09 due to an economy-related budget freeze called to let me know that she’s hearing great buzz about “the PR I’ve been doing.” She’s finding that the PR is having a positive impact this year, as customers chime in and sales reps benefit from the good news. Obviously, I’ve not done any PR for her since the first of the year. What this client is presently experiencing is the hard-earned results of a PR campaign that occurred late summer ’08. Some things just take a while to bear fruit.
The famous Thomas Jefferson quote comes to mind now. “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
If you’re ready to leap into social media because you believe there’s magic mix, you’re out of luck. However, if you’re committed to the work it will take, by all means get in the mix.