Every day, companies and entrepreneurs start their journey in social media advertising, some more successfully than others. In this post, we will illustrate the most common mistakes made by those who are starting marketing 2.0. To do this, we will use, in a humorous way, the story of an imaginary entrepreneur who ventures to advertise his business on the Internet. So, without further ado, I present to you…
The fictional but real story of Paco
Paco is the proud owner of a company dedicated to the manufacturing and sale of tractor brake pads. Like others, Paco is suffering the harsh effects of the crisis. But Paco, who is a fighter willing to do whatever it takes, is determined to try Internet Marketing because, it seems, “it’s what’s in.” It’s worth a try, it’s free, requires little time, and, who knows, it might even work.
So, a few months ago, Paco decided to start a blog. Unfortunately, even Paco is aware that news in the tractor brake pad “Business” is not exactly frequent. However, Paco is committed to writing a weekly post at all costs, whether there is news to tell or not.
Despite his efforts and (in his opinion) innovative ideas, the visitor counter does not go up. His brother-in-law has mentioned to him that a good way to attract visitors might be “that thing with social media.” Not fully convinced that it’s useful, Paco, who may not have much, but has more morale than anyone, has created all the accounts he can think of. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, … As it takes more time than he thought to maintain so many accounts, he has even linked some to each other so that when he posts something, it updates on all the others. How clever Paco is!
Finally, it’s Twitter’s turn. He has seen on TV that everyone talks about it, so there must be a reason. He is determined to extend his marketing campaign failure to a new social network. Paco, with his beret, on which his wife has embroidered in large letters “Web 2.0,” plans stealthily and treacherously the definitive assault on the Internet in search of potential clients.
Paco has created his account @Tractor_Brake_Pads. He will use his consistency to post a couple of Tweets advertising his blog and website every day when he arrives at the office, with a link to the latest post. Also, when he publishes his new weekly post, he will send messages to his contacts to inform them and ask them to retweet. He will even try to make jokes and funny messages about tractor brake pads (if there is such a thing), always with a link to his blog and the hashtag #TractorBrakePads. How modern!
Paco, who is smarter than anyone, has come up with a wide range of ideas to attract new followers. He will periodically massively and indiscriminately follow people with whom he has never exchanged a word. If after a few days they don’t follow him back, he will unfollow them. Brilliant, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before!? In addition, he will especially care for his most influential followers (for Paco, influential means having more followers). If he could get one of them to retweet one of his advertising messages… he would reach so many people!
Paco has scheduled an automatic message to welcome new followers, with the eternal link to his blog. He has linked his account to his blog so that new posts are published automatically. He has set up Gamisfaction to automatically do #FF on Fridays to his new followers. Paco has Klout, Socialbro, Paco has everything! He is doing everything he can and doing it well… It has to work!
However, neither his Twitter account nor his blog take off. When his wife comes home, she finds Paco crying in a corner, hugging a bunch of tractor brake pads, sobbing “I love you, they don’t understand us… please RT.”
Why has his marketing strategy resulted in disaster? Why has Paco ended up crying in a corner? What has Paco done wrong? Essentially EVERYTHING, starting with thinking he was smarter than anyone. Some of the egregious mistakes he has made include:
- He has used social media as a marketing medium without understanding how it works, nor being convinced of its effectiveness.
- He underestimated the ‘cost’ in time and money that the web 2.0 represents, and by the way, underestimated all those who dedicate themselves to it.
- Lack of quality in his content, he has only placed advertising from his website, without contributing news on other topics, RT, personal opinions, etc…
- He has done massive follows and unfollows, to people with whom he has never exchanged a word, without bothering to know them or talk to anyone.
- He has sent messages to his contacts with advertising, something that not only borders on spam, but will have gotten him a few ‘unfollows’.
- He has not cared about the times when he tweets. The first hour of a working day is not the best time to post a Tweet, it will hardly be read.
- He has automated processes and linked accounts, attitudes that are received negatively and in the long run result more harmful than anything else.
People are not stupid and, in general, they flee from advertising. That’s why they switch channels during commercials. We are tired of being sold things. It is, at the very least, pretentious on Paco’s part to think that anyone in their right mind would follow an account that has shamelessly turned into an advertising channel for something as uninteresting as tractor brake pads. (Paco, accept it, almost no one is interested)
Paco has not understood, even remotely, that people are followed on social media. He should have been concerned with creating his own identity on the Internet, that is, a reflection of his person, with good and bad days. It is essential to share quality content that adds value to your account, including hobbies, some nonsense that occurs to him and, especially, having sincere interest in other people. The important thing is to have fun and meet people, not to do it out of obligation.
Professional contacts, if they ever come, will be welcome. If you establish on social media a circle of sincere friendships with people with common interests to yours, and one day they need tractor brake pads, then they may turn to you. But it should be considered a secondary aspect, just as you don’t consider in the ‘real’ world that you have friends to buy your product (at least, you shouldn’t).
The last thing to ask about someone like our friend Paco, who has shown a championship egocentrism in his use of social media, is: Could he really change his mindset? Would he become genuinely interested in other people? Or would he only pretend for a while, and end up back to his old ways? If you want to give your opinion, we will be happy to hear it. Do not hesitate to leave your comment.