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Social Media: Just Because You Can, Does It Mean You Should?

To anyone who has ever paid for advertising social media seems like a marketers dream.

As entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to attract more customers, it’s tempting to buy into the hype that social media is the answer to our lead generation problems. Now that we can access an audience in digital captivity, why not simply employ some marketing tactics and see what happens? No more waiting for potential customers to open the door or pick up the phone. Most of the doors are left unlocked in digital land and the lines of communication are open 24/7.

A tweet is as good as a flyer, only cheaper. A Facebook post can reach thousands in a fraction of the time it takes to make a single call. It costs far less to play, so why wouldn’t you?

I recently spoke to a prospective client who has built a thriving service business one satisfied customer at a time. Now that she is looking to scale, social media seems like the easiest and obvious place to start. She consulted with a company who advised her that they could grow her Twitter following, then channel those people to her website, providing her with instant leads and future clients.

Thinking that this might be the way to grow a sustainable business proves that we’ve taken a wrong turn—believing that social is the new way to do old marketing.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You must be prepared to invest time to connect meaningfully with your customers (both existing and potential) whatever the channel; to help before asking, listen before selling and understand before pitching.

Just because they can hear you doesn’t mean they’re listening.

Image by Merlijn Hoek.

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