After years of being in this industry, I have seen a lot. Changes, improvements, trends and scary little secrets that still tend to shock me even though I should be numb to it by now. Though I have never read a book or taken any classes on social media marketing, I sure have done a lot of it as an individual, then an agency and now as a brand.
I have decided to create a list of 50 things I have learned about the industry. They are in no particular order and by no means is this a complete list. Just some things I decided to jot down that I believe might be helpful for our readers. I think you will find there is something directed to the beginner, all the way to the industry professional. Some are simple truths you may already realize and others are opinions I have formed through thousands of conversations and connections over the years.
50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing:
1) Social Media is a marathon, not a sprint.
2) You will make mistakes. Embrace them and move forward.
3) Consistency is the most important thing over the long-term.
4) Curating topical content is important.
5) Relationships do result in revenue.
6) Most have no idea what they’re doing.
7) Consultants and speakers are going to kill this business.
8) Do not listen to Social Media Marketing Celebrities.
9) Social media is really hard when done right.
10) A majority of social media marketers connect and engage with their peers and competitors, not their prospects.
11) The last thing we need is another social network.
12) Helping others selflessly is rewarding in and of itself.
13) Automating anything directly to your streams is not effective.
14) Using TruTwit to force new connections to prove they’re human is a beginner epidemic.
15) Most industry apps and tools are created by people who have never successfully done social media marketing.
16) Other than keynote speakers, many travel to and speak at events at their own cost/expense to pretend to be important.
17) Facebook leadership doesn’t have a clue what their customers really need and want.
18) The more immediate you respond to new comments, follows and engagement, the more likely you will get more.
19) Content isn’t king, getting real results is king. Content is part of the process.
20) Don’t pay attention to what industry “leaders” say, just watch what they do.
21) Quantity AND quality matter. It’s not an either or, but BOTH.
22) The proper tools are required. Too many people frequently try all the new tools as a distraction in order to avoid doing what they know they need to do. This is counterproductive. Find tools that solve your biggest problems ONLY, then execute with them.
23) Many social media “professionals” are arrogant and impatient with newbie ignorance or mistakes, instead of helpful.
24) The people in the industry that have the least experience, knowledge and skill call themselves Experts, Ninjas and Gurus.
25) Social media marketing changes weekly.
26) A proper social media strategy is required if you expect to get results.
27) Big brands are the worst at social media marketing. They don’t do it properly and they don’t have to.
28) Don’t pay attention to or try to replicate what big brands do in social media.
29) There is only one steadfast rule in social media – DO NOT SPAM!
30) People connect with people, not brands or logo’s they’ve never heard of. Humanize your brand.
31) SMB’s need to leverage personal and business social accounts to be most effective.
32) Most SMB’s should stop spending time and resources to learn from “experts” and hire a qualified social media agency.
33) Your mobile device must be deployed in real-time with your social accounts if you want to be successful.
34) Google Plus is NOT a replacement for Facebook, nor will it “kill” Facebook.
35) If you are holding or attending more than 2 Google Hangouts on air “shows” per week, you may need to evaluate your bank account, time management and priorities.
36) Most social media “consultants” are broke.
37) Most social media marketers don’t post frequently enough.
38) A blog is not required for every business. Content creation is required for every business.
39) Only retweeting or sharing other people’s status updates isn’t a strategy.
40) Posting quotes everyday isn’t a strategy.
41) Most marketers have not spent the time to clearly define their target audience and what drives them on social media.
42) The only place that “If you build, it they will come” works is in Hollywood.
44) Effective social media marketers don’t take nights and weekends off from engagement.
45) Social media is the center of online digital marketing efforts. Integrate it into everything you do on and offline.
46) Proper social media marketing that gets real results, cannot be hired for $50/mo.
47) There are a ton of classes and content about how to do social media marketing. Be careful what you read.
48) Most social media agencies are solopreneurs that are great at social media marketing, but need help at making it a profitable business.
49) Social media is like a parallel universe to the real world. What you would never do at a networking event, you should not do in social media.
50) Analysis paralysis will stifle your social media results. Do more, analyze as needed.
Again, this is not a complete list of what I have learned, just a random compilation that crosses all aspects of the industry. What have you learned?