Whoever decided to fill the world's head with the idea that social media is the magic bullet has A LOT of social media pros waiting to tear them apart right now. Social media is great, it's awesome, if it wasn't I wouldn't have it has my number one career choice. However, it is FAR from magic. As any #SoMe pro knows, the magic that comes from a post that goes viral, or an engaging conversation on any network, is the result of tedious day-to-day work that involves targeting the right audience, creating meaningful dialogue and finding out what consumers want. While the rest of the world sees a magical conversation between a brand and consumer, the people behind the scenes workers know that a lot more than a wand is needed to pull that rabbit out of the hat.
On top of that, there is a misconception that social media is this magic bullet that masks a bad product, or is the only thing needed to get a product off the shelves. I'm calling bullshit. Social media is a TOOL. It is a way of getting a message to tons of people in a conversational way. If there is a not a strong, solid message in the first place, then don't bother with social. If there's not an AWESOME product behind the messaging, then don't expect social to make it sell out.
I sat in a room with multiple social media directors at a conference a few weeks ago, and it ended up being a therapy session. We all felt like we're the first point of contact with clients/brands if they want to blame someone for a lack in sells, or bad messaging. They think our efforts of having authentic conversations, and passing along messages about existing products, are the blaming point for failed marketing, advertising and sales efforts. While all of these departments influence each other, social media is only as good as your brand identity, and as good as the products or ideas your are selling.
Before you put the pressure on your social media pros to create a positive, energetic conversation about your brand, look inward. Make sure you have the positive energy and quality in in your marketing messages, in your advertising and in your products. THEN turn to your social media team to push that message out to the masses. Only then will social media come close to the magic bullet you keep claiming it is.
- Marji J. Sherman