We’re coming out of the world of direct-response marketing. With the advent of banners/SEO/SEM, things got super-efficient, super-quickly. You could watch your dollars being spent and converting into sales. It was instantaneous. Back in 1998–2001, it was just the thing to do.
I loved it.
By the way, I still believe in those things, but now they’re just part of the mix. Click-thru is down for AdWords. Open rates are down for Email. Marketers ruined them just like marketers ruin everything else. It’s what we do. We took things that were pure like search and email, and we turned them into marketing mechanisms. We’re doing the same thing with social right now. Everything I’m talking about today won’t be as relevant in five years. But it’s what I believe is relevant now, so we should focus on it now.
Social is the complete reverse of SEO/SEM, and that is why I think social is going to win as a marketing platform. But most of the smartest people don’t have the patience needed to make social work.
The other digital stuff is one-night-stand mentality: “Do you have the skills to walk into a bar and get someone into bed?”
Social, on the other hand, is marriage: “Are you good enough to maintain this relationship over the course of your life? Are you capable of the amount of communication that is necessary?” That takes a very different skill set, and that is why I’m attracted to it.
Now, there are Google ads, and there are Facebook ads, but just because they’re both ad units doesn’t mean you can treat them the same way. If you try to apply the same logic you use to create Google ads to something you build for Facebook, it’s just not going to work. Why? Because the psychology and the thought process that drives you to use Google is totally different from the reason you’re using Facebook! Google is a retail floor. If you’re on Google and you’re searching for toasters, you’ve already come to the store to buy something. On Facebook, you’re out on the town with 8 friends; you haven’t met most of them, but two of the husbands are perfect potential clients for whatever service you’re offering. How do you weave that in without being a jerk?
Social media is a long game, because the only way to play it is to be human. You’re forced to confront the reality of trying to sell something to a real person instead of just looking at a cost-per-click calculation and swiping your credit card. It’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, the tortoise winning isn’t just some convenient thing you tell your kids. The marathon mentality is a very real thing, and it’s what every marketer and entrepreneur needs to win in today’s market.
Published: March 13, 2014