Don’t waste your money on social media marketing

wasting time Are you wasting your money when it comes to social media advertising? 

First, let me apologise for the linkbait headline clarify what I mean: not all social media advertising is a waste. There’s a right way and a wrong way to use it. 

The wrong way: 

  • In a vaccuum
  • Without any call to action
  • With a lame call to action and no intrinsic motivation to act
  • Without a plan of how you’ll reward someone for responding (Liking, following etc)
  • Only providing some kind of extrinsic motivation for people to respond (e.g. product giveaway or discount)

This kind of ad is unintelligent, and often a waste of money. You might get what you want (likes etc.) but what’s the quality of those people? 

The right way:

  • As fuel to the fire of great content, that comes from insight into your customer
  • As part of the experience you’ve designed for your customer
  • As something that leads people along to the next part of the journey, rather than standing in isolation
  • As something that involves your customer meaningfully, not just interaction for its own sake

If you’re a marketer, you may think your job is to drive value for your company. The paradox is, that only happens when you drive value for your customer. 

Social media, used in conjunction with other media, allows you the chance to design an experience for your consumer. To do that, you need a really good understanding of them. 

Is this always true? No. Sometimes you just need to get more exposure, for whatever reason. But to really drive business results -which usually look like interactions with real people who have real wallets – a more substantial approach is needed.

Kindling vs. Firewood

Kindling can create a lot of flame in a short time, but then it dies down. Paid advertising on social is your kindling. But it’s not your firewood. 

Firewood is the content you develop that comes from a strategic and substantial understanding of your customer, and what he or she needs. 

Don’t mix up your kindling with your firewood. 

 Thanks to the lively crew at the Marketing Association’s Certificate of Digital Marketing tonight (in Auckland and Wellington) for inspiring this blog post.


2 thoughts on “Don’t waste your money on social media marketing

  • owen

    I like the “kindling/firewood” thing. Cute 🙂

    • Simon

      Thanks Owen!


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