Quite a discussion has drummed up in my “Guerilla Strategies” audience over the question of how much marketing leverage you really have in the world of social media. This has caused so much of a stir, in fact, that I’m going to transport a few of my follow-up comments here for all to see.

What started this whole thing is this . . .

There are a lot of social media “experts” out there beating the drum for your involvement. (When I refer to social media I mean Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Linked In, Digg, Delicious, Squidoo, Ezine.com, etc.) Many are even saying that social media activity will eventually dominate the search engines completely, making engines rather obsolete in their efforts to remain objective in their results. Here’s my honest take . . .

Social media is just as useless as any other Internet or web site strategy if it doesn’t have a leveraged reason behind it. What are you doing out there on the Internet? You’re:

1. ATTRACTING prospects

2. CONVERTING prospects through a list-building form

3. ROMANCING those prospects in your list until they CONVERT to buyers

4. FURTHER ROMANCING your buyers so that they remain faithful, loyal and true.

 That’s leverage.

If you’re not using social media to do drive people to conversion and email addresses in YOUR pocket and YOUR domain, you’re wasting your time.

Think about it: So much of social media disallows the collection of names and email addresses, and this is its largest downfall . . . you’re working your butt off to get your branding out there, but there’s no way all those people on your FB fanpage will actually “BE” yours – because only one man in the world has access to all the email addresses of FB members, and last time I checked, your last name was not Zuckerberg.

So, you have to constantly, constantly drive people to a platform that allows for the fill-in form AND further educates the prospect before they’ll be willing to fill in their name and email address. That platform is your website. Social media is a great conduit of energy and eyes to your site . . . but IT’S YOUR WEBSITE THAT CAPTURES prospects, converts prospects to buyers, and provides for greater and greater online sales.

Lastly, let’s face it: Social media is becoming a time-intensive and laborious “strategy.” Nowadays, you can’t just pop stuff up in Twitter or Linked In or FB . . you really have to work on striking up conversations and ENGAGING the people who “like” your FB fanpage and “follow” you on Twitter. . .. and God knows if a sizable percentage is going to become part of your buying world.

As the social media universe gets more and more crowded, I can only imagine that keeping up with social media will become more laborious and demanding, or it will blow apart and start over in another way.

For me, I have my Twitter pages and Linked in page and I’m getting around to a FB fan page … and I’m distributing my blog pieces to sundry other posting entities … but having to spend that kind of time and effort on single individuals who, in many cases, are probably following me so that I will follow them . . .that ain’t leverage, my friend.

I’d rather leverage my marketing activities toward building my email prospect list (using social media to drive them there, of course, as ONE small piece of the drive-them-to-the-website-strategy) and nursing THOSE people along like the gold that they are. THESE are the people I’ll converse with and reach out to on a single, individual basis because they’ve taken that all-important step. They’ve actually come to my web site and shown interest in learning more from me by completing a form and ASKING for more. In my mentor’s words, “they’re raising their hands and saying, ‘Yes.’ ”

In my opinion, my odds are much greater at making THOSE people a lifelong customer.

(scuffle, scuffle) Stepping off my soapbox now.

Please feel free to forward this to peers interested in learning more about leveraging their game. And remember, I still do 2-week intensive consultations with companies for just $189. See details for “Launching Pad to Lift-Off” now!


©Diane Armitage, 2011, ArmitageInc.com