Perhaps you were there too, like I was.
You post something to Facebook and check every few minutes to see who’s liked what you’ve shared, or better yet, who’s shared your profound wisdom.
Likes and shares are habit-forming addictions.
But like an addiction to a drug, it might give you a high for a bit, but it won’t do anything but cause damage in the long run.
At the very least social media’s importance is blown way out of proportion.
In fact, likes and shares fall into a category called vanity metrics in the online marketing game.
That’s because in and of themselves, likes and shares have the value of a zimdollar. They’re simply not as important as people think they are.
While you’re gaping wide eyed at your likes and shares, other companies are counting their dollars.
Want to insult your target market?
Call in the help of a conceited influencer who thinks they have the power to sway opinions.
This new breed of celebrity comes with all the demands of a Hollywood star, but often without the clout.
Be careful when you’re lured into thinking a celebrity marketer’s got the power to move more product.
I have two stories I can relate to help you see that social media marketing should not enjoy the fame it is.
The big blade brand
I own a website where I write in-depth reviews of products I buy and test to the utmost.
Some years ago I approached a number of big name brands, hoping to get products from them to test and write about.
I received a reply from a brand I have a huge amount of respect for, still today, and they offered to send me a product to test.
In hindsight I should never have approached them, because the moment you do deals with companies like these you become their lackey.
That was the first mistake.
The second mistake was the product I received. It’s not something I would have normally reviewed, but because I was anxious to get something going with this company I agreed.
The review was a disaster. I messed it up completely.
And although I messed up the review entirely, I expected more traffic from their Facebook page than what they sent.
At that time their Facebook page had a whopping 1.2 million followers. That’s an insane amount of followers for someone like me.
So when they shared it to their page I expected something like a 1000 people to visit my site. That’s not a high expectation. It’s only 0.1%.
How many people came to my site from that share? 112. That’s a click-through rate of 0.0112%.
Granted, it was a calamity, but only getting a 1000 people from that shared post proved how overblown Facebook’s importance is.
The YouTube influencer
I worked for a guy who has fingers in all sorts of pies, including makeup.
So we thought it a good idea to have makeup included in goodie bags at a function for online celebrities.
Another HUGE mistake.
The return on this investment was far worse than my dealings with the famous blade brand.
One British YouTube influencer with a following of in the hundreds of thousands, didn’t manage to move a single product. Not one.
Even if the makeup was horrific, which it isn’t, you’d expect SOMETHING from these people.
Another South African influencer showed a similar return.
It was an absolute waste of money to try and move product through influencers.
And by using these so-called “influencers” we could not have done better targeting. Makeup was literally their niche.
It just didn’t work at all.
Here’s the nice thing for influencers: they can’t be held accountable.
Like so-called faith healers, if they don’t produce, they simply wash their hands in innocence and make up some sort of excuse for their lack of performance.
Do not fall for vanity metrics.
Likes and shares mean nothing if they don’t bring in cold hard cash.
And where it concerns influencers, get them to commit to sending you the numbers. Don’t look at their follower count; ask them to share numbers that make sense to your business, like how many website visitors they send to their sponsors. Ask them for proof of product moved.
If an influencer can’t product the correct numbers, keep your cash in your pocket and spend it on marketing channels that you’re in control of.
Rather get a proper website, add quality content to it and watch your traffic grow.