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Let’s move on now to what is perhaps the most contentious marketing advice you're going to hear: Yes, there are benefits to using social media, but chances are you’re doing it WRONG.
The reason I say "you're probably doing it wrong" (and the reason it's so contentious) is because there is a ton of misguided advice out there when it comes to social media. And chances are that's the advice you've been given. You've probably been told:
I'm certain that the above advice — wherever you heard it — was well-intentioned. But here's why I unabashedly say it's misguided and may not be the best advice for you, on the surface, anyway. It requires a brief (15 second) history lesson.
Social media pretty much took the marketing industry by storm about five years ago. It was new, it was different, it was evolving, it was exciting, it was unknown. It was all the rage. And starry-eyed marketing disciples soon started chanting, "Social media is the future of marketing!"
Yes, well, close, but not quite. They should have said, "Social media is in the future of marketing." Social media is indeed here to stay for an untold number of years, and it certainly plays a role in marketing, much like testimonials and yard signs. But it has not replaced the core fundamentals of pool marketing, which include:
Social media can certainly play a supporting role to the above fundamentals, but it is not likely to displace any of them.
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On the other hand, here's one reason why social media might still play a huge role in your marketing future: Google loves social media. (For the time being, anyway.) So even if no one goes to your Facebook page and no one listens to your tweets, you still might benefit from social media activity, because Google may boost the organic rankings of the pool builder who is more active in social media.
Ironic, isn't it? You don't have to really be active in social media; you just have to make it look like you’re active, and you'll get your reward of better search engine rankings.
And that's why I should throw out this little yellow caution flag here. Bogus social media activity is a lot like bogus backlinks and bogus content. These are all naughty methods of gaming the system. And as you probably know, Google has devoted itself to finding people who are gaming the system and punish them with their world-famous Google penalties.
That's why I recommend that if you are going to get involved in social media, do what makes sense.
And what makes sense depends totally on what you sell. That's why I have identified specific strategies depending on whether you are a builder, retailer or a service professional – because the strategies for each are different.
Here then are my recommendations, based on which line of business you’re in:
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Okay, that’s quite a list of do's and dont's. But I hope it puts you on the right track of how to properly manage your efforts in the social media arena. If you’re still hungry for more social media advice, you’ll find more on one of my previous blog posts here.
One thing I haven’t gotten into yet is how to take advantage of all the other free online directories and websites that can help send new prospects your way. I will cover those in my next blog post.
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