The Awful Truth About Social Media
I was browsing in Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago and accidentally stumbled across a book titled "Facebook an Hour a Day."
The hook was that amazingly, you could do Facebook marketing in — ta-dah! — ONLY an hour a day.
The author seemed to think this was some kind of miracle that throngs of marketers would rush to learn.
By I recoiled in horror ... and my stomach churned in revulsion. "Only" an hour a day on Facebook? Are you kidding me?
I have been told by various experts that I should be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest, at minimum.
Well, let's do the math....
Facebook: an hour a day, like the author says.
LinkedIn: has to take at least that much time, so say another hour a day.
Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest don't require an hour a day, so let's say an hour a day for all three.
That comes to a total of three hours a day on social media — 15 hours a week.
Assuming you work an eight-hour day, that is a staggering 37.5 percent of your billable time.
If you make $200,000 a year, your noodling around on Facebook and those other social media networks costs you $75,000 a year in billable time.
Before I became an information marketer, I was for many decades strictly a freelance copywriter, and during all that time, I never once spent more than a tiny fraction of that on my self-promotion.
So how people can say social media marketing is free is beyond me.
It isn't free. It has a miserable ROTI — return on time invested.
Can that be fixed?
Social media guru Stephanie Chandler notes that Facebook's algorithms are making it difficult for businesses to get visibility without advertising.
She recommends sponsoring your posts, which costs as little as $5 a post.
Says Stephanie, "Doing a sponsored post once or twice weekly on a FB business page can get more engagement and be very effective."
My advice: participate in Facebook if you want for socializing, fun, and keeping in touch.
But for marketing, most people I know find it fairly worthless.
Exceptions? Of course.
So if you have a Facebook marketing technique that has worked for you, please send it along to me so I can share it with others: firstname.lastname@example.org.