Every time someone mentions the word “blog” to me, I get up on my soapbox and say, “If you’re not going to update it at least once a week, don’t even bother. Doing it badly is worse than not doing it at all!”
And, yet, here mine sits.
Part of it comes out of the fact that I loathe self-promotion. Yes, I’ve got a lot of cool projects that have been hitting the Internets lately, but I hate tooting my own horn. I hate it so much that I’ve entertained notions of trying to kill my business by ending all advertising (Yes, Yellow Pages, I’m looking in your general direction) and relying solely on word of mouth to generate business.
Ah, but I once again digress.
The really fun news making the rounds last week was that Mickey D’s increased their foot traffic by a whopping 33% via a FourSquare promotion. Word of this social media success spread faster than a bad cold until someone at ReadWriteWeb took a little time to think about things and point out that the emperor was not wearing clothes.
The thing that bothers me about the initial reaction to this bit of misinformation is that it reflects what we’re all looking for. We want that magic pill that instantly makes us insanely profitable. A lot of people point to social media success stories like this & the Old Spice campaign and that only creates unrealistic expectations. Facebook pages are created, tweets tweeted and nothing happens.
And then social media gets the blame.
I’m not doubting the benefit of promotions via social media, but it really is a long term investment. It’s not just about motivating potential customers by contests, coupons or the good old bait and switch upsell. It’s really about putting yourself out there and showing who you are and what you’ve got. It’s holding conversations and building relationships.
If you want to see a master at work, check out @CosmicKitchen on Twitter. Hands down, Kris (not a typo) does the best social media marketing of any business here in town. She’s not above a little shameless self-promotion, but she mixes it well with real conversations.
Of course, the fact that they have some of the best food in town doesn’t hurt (I could go for a Reuben right now).