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Social Media Marketing: The Good, Bad and Ugly


Social Media Marketing: Good, Bad and Ugly

I had the honor of being the featured speaker yesterday at the AMSI User conference in Orlando. In full disclosure, AMSI is a Find and Convert client. When we planned for me to speak at their conference I asked what topic would be of interest to this audience of property management and construction business professionals. After some discussion, I suggested talking about the reality of social media marketing. It can be good, it can be bad and it can be ugly.

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

Truth be told I didn’t talk much about “ugly” except to point out that when businesses don’t understand that their prospective customers don’t have to tolerate a “broadcast” style of marketing, the results can be ugly. I spoke about the need for marketers to adopt the mindset of the new marketing paradigm and transition from broadcasters to publishers of content.

Data Doesn’t Lie

I shared several stats from a recent report from HubSpot called the State of Inbound Marketing. Of all the stats I shared one of the most compelling to me is a stat which shows that more leads are produced when a business is found for more keywords. At Find and Convert as we work with our clients in their inbound marketing plans, we often see businesses focus on wanting to be found for just a few keywords. Each client has their top 5 or top 10 list of keywords. While that’s “good” it can also be “bad.” As this chart shows, what matters most is sales leads. When you rank for more than 50 keywords you produce more sales leads.

Stories Worth Telling

I always prefer to focus on the “good” rather than “bad” or “ugly.” It’s the eternal optimist in me. So, I told a few stories about marketers getting very good results. One of my all time favorite stories is Indium Corp. This B2B company sells solder paste to electronics manufacturers. In the past five years, they have developed a killer (that’s a good killer) blog strategy. They have 70 blogs, each one staffed by an engineer. They produce tons of sales leads from this blog content. They spread their blog content using social media. And, under the leadership of Marcom Director, Rick Short, they also humanize their company through humorous video. Indium is proof positive that almost any company in any industry can have tangible business success with a strong content marketing strategy and good leadership.

Speaking of Blogging

After giving a presentation I like to chat with people about it to get feedback on what resonated with them. Not surprisingly, the topic, which almost always bubbles to the top, is blogging. I’m convinced that blogging has risen to the top of B2B marketer’s fears right up there with fear of public speaking and fear of heights. I continually hear about the fear of people leaving negative comments, or bloggers writing poorly, or not having anything to say, blah, blah, blah!  I suggest their biggest fear is getting started!  Business blogging is like jumping into a pool of cold water. It may take some getting used to, but once you acclimate and build momentum you’ll wish you had started five years ago like Indium Corp.

Measuring Results

This topic is worthy of books, seminars and much more. There are so many ways to measure results. One of them, which I teach, is to “measure first downs.” In this football analogy, I refer to progress made on the way to scoring points. In social media marketing it can be subscriptions, downloads, positive engagements, new connections, new opportunities, positive sentiment, learning something you didn’t know. The list is endless. Of course, measuring results must always align with business objectives otherwise you just might measure meaningless data.

The Human Touch

George W. Landgrebe, Vice President & General Manager of AMSI, introduced me as the speaker. During his remarks prior to introducing me he spoke of AMSI’s passionate commitment to their customers.  He was very authentic. It wasn’t just lip service. He recognized how difficult it is to conduct business in a down economy. And, how each client relationship is very valuable and that AMSI listens to the customer’s voice both collectively and individually. That passion for customer love is hugely important in any business. It’s the human touch which can and should be executed both offline and online. To only execute offline, or to only execute online isn’t enough. Customers have choices. And, as George quoted Peter Drucker, “the purpose of a business is to create and satisfy a customer.” Below is a picture of me with AMSI VP and General Manager, George Landgrebe and Marcom Director, Jocelyn Rhode.

Social Media: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

15 thoughts on “Social Media Marketing: The Good, Bad and Ugly”

  1. Bernie- Thanks for taking the time to write this article… In the recruiting business since I began 13 years ago, we always monitored "activity" because it told a story, and there I could literally predict my billings after a few used based on my "activity" (Call, Connect, Resume Submissions, Interviews, Offers, etc)

    And you are correct in the "data dees not lie" and measuring results are HUGE in the new social media world we live in..

    Thanks so much for the great content, Best to ALL, Brian-

    1. Brian,
      I always try to use data to support my points. When data tells a clear story, it helps get the main point across effectively.
      Thanks for your comment.

    1. Eric,
      Story telling has its place in the learning curve of any material. There is no exception in social media marketing.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Bernie, thanks for highlighting the fact that customers don't want to be "broadcast" to. I think that many companies are still afraid that social media is uncontrollable and are unsure how to tackle the beast. Like you say, the only way to get in is to jump in. I think all departments of the company should be involved. With so many people putting in a little effort each day, the company will have a farther reaching and more personal touch.

    What are your views on how companies should tackle social media? Should they designate a social media team or encourage everyone in the company to participate?

    1. Elise,
      I agree, most all departments in a company should participate in social media. Often, that's not an easy sell with top management. The approach is different from company to company. But, generally they should start by listening and by designating one or more people in charge of social media with CEO approval. Over time, as the adoption grows, the participation can (and should grow).
      Thanks for your comment.

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