One of the initial attractions for me with Google+ was that I thought many of the people whose email lists I subscribe to would become active there, especially the Internet Marketing (IM) “Gurus” who promote social media in their solutions, and that this would allow me to streamline my Inbox as outlined in 7 Productivity Gains Delivered By Google+.
Whilst many have opened an account, some have made no posts whilst many others have only made a very small number of posts.
It’s not just the IM Gurus who aren’t jumping on this social media train – I know many other successful online entrepreneurs in other niches who are generating sales of $50,000+ per month yet are either not active at all on social media or if they are, their activities are minimal.
Are these entrepreneurs missing something?
If you listen to the media, SEO and social media experts, these entrepreneurs are simply not on the ball as “the place to be is social media”.
What social media promoters forget is that the Internet is a diverse medium and that when most people go looking for a solution to a need, they aren’t doing so within Facebook but rather through a referral or an online search.
When they find what they are after, they subscribe to that website or blogs newsletter /updates, or make a purchase.
These are the people who already are in SPEND mode or more than likely will be at some point in the near future – the very people the Internet entrepreneurs are focused on attracting to their business and nurturing long term relationships with.
They know which channels work best for their business … and that is where they focus!
Social media by comparison is still an evolving direct marketing medium. It is a place where you catch up with what your friends are doing in their lives, share information, make new friends, etc.
It is not a place where you do a sales pitch – not yet anyway although this will no doubt change.
The exception is Brand / Fan Pages as you can be very sales oriented there.
7 reasons why social media is not a priority for these entrepreneurs
- They have already built their Brand: The successful Internet Entrepreneurs have been around for quite some time and have built strong brands which can be expanded upon. If your focus is solely built around social media, then you will NEVER build your brand properly.
- They are classic direct marketers: Their focus is on bottom line results and that requires a straight forward sales approach. Whether it’s one-step selling or 3-6 step selling (as used in many product launches), everything is geared towards a sale. Social media does not deliver a sales message as effectively as email marketing, webinars, online videos, etc and so their focus remains on those channels which deliver results… at the moment anyway.
- They already have a captive audience: Most of these entrepreneurs already have big lists, in many cases exceeding 500,000 people … and can grow distribution exponentially through their Affiliate and JV partners.. Social media may give you many friends / followers, but that is vastly different to a full opt-in email subscriber. Their Affiliate (JV) partners are typically people they make direct contact with – through introductions, direct contact, at conferences etc. Those relationships generally do not come from social media connections.
- They have established relationships: Your best prospect is always going to be a past client … and these groups have thousands of them who know, like and trust them. As a result, there’s a dialogue already in place with them which in many cases is much stronger than you can produce via social media (close friends excepted). The real money is not in your prospect list, but in your “buyer list”.
- They are already acknowledged as authorities in their field: They embraced the free information model a long time ago and therefore their well oiled machine is, in many cases, curating significant amounts of information for their subscribers and paying customers at no cost. Some of their free materials are their way of saying THANK YOU to their subscribers and buyers, some are part of their educational process (brand building) and others are part of a lead generation process. Their curation process includes their own material and that issued through “cross affiliate promotions” with their List Mafia affiliates partners.
- They are numbers oriented: These entrepreneurs rely on the metrics provided by email marketing systems, webinar attendances, Google Analytics and similar services, etc for determining forward strategies. The only way you can get comparable metrics with social media services is when you advertise. That isn’t enough!
- They are not one-dimensional: Even though their brand is generally associated to an individual, most of these entrepreneurs have multiple online operations, often working alongside one another yet also marketed quite separately as well. Social media is focused more on “individuals” and therefore does not offer anywhere near the flexibility they need.
Attitudes to social media will change…
The above are all understandable but I do believe that we will start seeing a big shift in thinking soon.
Over the past couple of years, more and more Internet entrepreneurs have been embracing traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail (post card mailings) for lead generation and call center facilities for upgrades … and in the process found that they could multiply their sales, in some cases quite significantly.
Today, many affiliate offers are automatically optimized for call center sales from Day 1, such is the importance of that channel.
Now that Google are in the social media game, I believe we will see social media become a higher priority for these entrepreneurs as well.
Google are already indexing all public posts in Google+ and this on its own should be an incentive for these entrepreneurs to become active.
This lure will come into its own once they release Brand Pages as sales messages will be quite OK there. SEO is always an important consideration for any site and therefore I suspect that Brand Pages will progressively become part of the overall marketing mix for these entrepreneurs even if they aren’t active now.
In saying that, all of the above points will continue to be the main drivers of their business operations for a long time to come.