Free Guaranteed Success! and other social media sales myths

That headline sounds great, but what's hiding when I click through?

That headline sounds great, but what’s hiding when I click through?

My wife and I don’t argue about much, but there is one thing that has driven a wedge between us recently: grilled-cheese sandwiches.

She cooks hers differently than me, and I apparently do it “wrong.” While we might never agree on the method for grilled-cheese success, we can both agree that there are many methods (mine it totally the best) that can end up perfect for a person’s taste.

Such is the way with social media. Anyone who says there is a perfect template for “writing the perfect blog” or “hitting a viral home run” is really just trying to sell you something. Sure, they might have some good tips, but if everyone wrote the same content in the same way, wouldn’t that eliminate the unique-ness of all content?

I’m going to pick specifically on the article linked above, not because I think it’s evil or anything – there are some really good thoughts in there – but because of the patently misleading headline-article relationship.

If I’m an owner struggling to figure out the social media space, I’m sure as heck going to click on an article with the headline:

How To Write Viral Blog Content & Make Readers Come Back!

It sounds perfect. Too perfect. Wow! And the subhead says there’s a blog template that will make everything you write SEO and viral gold!

Then the harsh reality hits when you click through and see a 3,000 word “tip sheet” that includes 28(!) steps, costs you advertising money, requires cold calling bloggers and pimping your content out to every RSS service there is. Buried within this stereo-equipment-manual treatise is the “template” for success. Want a quick rundown of the template?

  1. Write an awesome headline.
  2. Write an awesome intro that’s personal.
  3. Write other awesome things that have plenty of tags and keywords.
  4. Be awesome.

Well, there you go. No need for a social media consultant or a professional writer, is there?

If I’m running a small business or in charge of a company that is new to the social media game, this post, with all of its guarantee and promise in the headline, would scare the heck out of me. Here are just some of the terms that would make me say, “what the?”

“2. For best Search Engines results content should be 2,400 words or longer.” (Side note: Wow. That’s a lot of words to write. Every. Time.)

“10. Hit up great sites with .org, .edu or .gov status and high page rank sites.”

“12. Write Curation Content.”

“15. Direct Message list of 200 Twitter Users and Ask to Retweet.”

If you’re a social media novice, this all sounds scary and maybe like Greek. If you’re a social media pro, this is all either remedial or hokum.

The point of all this isn’t to kill the author of that post, or to rip on another company. The point is that social media is a jigsaw puzzle of possibilities with no one solution. There is a path to success for each company. Return on investment isn’t the same for everyone, and the platforms that best suit your company won’t match everyone else.

Learning the social media ropes takes help and planning. Often, the best consultant is one who will listen to your company’s needs rather than touting a “perfect” solution at the first meeting. Really, if you want the one key to social media success, it’s this: Don’t get sucked in by headlines that don’t match the article.

We’d love to take a look at your company’s social media needs. E-mail us or call Shea-Cahir Consulting at (913) 523-5250.

About Ian Shea-Cahir

Just trying to be the best dad I can be. And watch lots of soccer.

Posted on December 16, 2013, in Social media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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