Are We Preaching To The Choir When We Harp On About This Social Media Thing?

Social media is here! Quick, alert the press! But only the online journals and blogs, because hardcopy is dying a death. Everyone needs to know about the amazing news that social media has arrived and that it is changing everything.

How can we spread the news quicker? We could post about it on our social media channels. Even better, we could write plenty of blog posts about it and really get the word out. We’ll share them in our social media communities and sit back while everyone soaks up the breaking news that social media is here to stay.

There is one niggling thought, however… aren’t we preaching to the converted?

Online marketers are so excited about social media because it gives them direct access to the lives of their target audience in real time. It allows them to permeate the consciousness of potential customers and clients in a split second. We can react to things as they happen and watch our brands become almost sentient, living things.

And we think to ourselves, “Let’s share this amazing secret with everyone!” Marketers who are still behind the times, failing to recognise the impact of this cultural revolution as many social media gurus like to think of it, need to be told about this amazing new thing.

There are two things that are wrong with this picture. Firstly, there is already a lot of noise on social media. Why would we want to make it a more crowded space by inviting potential rivals to try their hand at the hash tag?

Secondly, if we were really trying to move more marketers to social media, why aren’t we approaching them in the mediums they currently favour and understand? Presumably, if one is not on social media and does not engage in blog browsing, then they will never hear of all the reasons this phenomenon has changed so many lives and can improve yours too.

So what are we doing when we rant and rave on social media about social media?

Well, we are conveying to other social media users that we understand and know how to use the medium. This is a form of peacocking, also known as thought leadership.

You can establish yourself or your company as a leader by writing about how knowledgeable you are, vocalising your opinions on the latest trends, demonstrating your understanding of what might sometimes be more complicated topics.

We are also pursuing the holy grail of business: Google Page One.

Getting to the top page on Google is an aim of many business owners. It gets you more exposure and there is an assumption among customers that those pages that rank highest do so because they are the best, making them more inclined to do business with you.

Relentlessly blogging on relevant subjects and using the occasional keyword in your posts gets you closer to number one. Updating your site on a regular basis (adding a new post/page to your blog) and drawing attention to your site through social media all help you inch closer to the much coveted number one spot.

So, these posts aren’t useful at all?

This is, of course, untrue. The secret of social media is not contained in the online communities. People offline who are thinking of starting their own business and know that they can use social media to generate interest and get their message out there are likely to turn to such blog posts for advice.

People will turn to your posts if they are useful or interesting. If you can’t provide any real insight or dig deeper than the surface issues, then people will move on from your posts.

Social media is a great way to promote your business.

But do you really want to see other business owners and marketers invading your space and moving in on your audience? Is that why you are writing all those oh-so-helpful posts about how to utilise social media for business?

Sharing is caring, there is no doubt about it. But are we sharing for its own sake or for the sake of our own search rankings and building up a following on Twitter?

Let us know your thoughts

Why do you blog about social media, business growth and website building? Is it out of the spirit of generosity or because you need to move up a spot or two on Google?

Tell us what you think. Contact us on our social media channels. Tweet us, Facebook us, or write on our Google+ and LinkedIn pages.

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