Why You Need To Focus Less On Social Media

Why you should focus less on social media - by SocialMouths No, I’m not crazy. I’m not here to say you should ignore social media and I’m certainly not here to say you should stop reading blogs about social media.

This post is actually social media advice, one that you probably don’t expect. Not from a social media blog.

Learning About Social Media

I remember a few years back, I had started my company with no experience at all. I mean no management, marketing, sales… you get it, no experience. As you can imagine it didn’t take much to realize that to make sales (and bring some profit) I had two options, I can push or I can pull. In other words, I can chase business or I can attract business. That’s why I decided to focus on Marketing and Sales and outsource the other stuff.

First I learned about print advertising and events, then about TV. I learned to read the numbers and that helped me understand the game and enabled me to produced my own commercials, buy my own air and do my own analysis. Long story short, I eventually arrived to network TV, had my own call center and about 600 calls were generated every day.

But there was one more lesson I needed to learn: I didn’t matter how many calls I could generate in one day if I didn’t have an awesome product or service and I didn’t have kick-ass service. Getting calls will only get you results in the short run but building a remarkable business will keep you alive for a while.

Use And Learn More Social Media

But this post is not about what I did. My point is this, you should keep learning about social media and you should spend time on creating a strategy to communicate and to put whatever it is you do in front of your prospects. That’s not all, you should also continue to use social media to establish and maintain relationships.

Do you need to learn how to get more followers or fans and how to get Likes and Retweets? I know you want me to say no but you do. Let’s be crystal clear, social media has too much potencial for you to focus on just that BUT, those little things are also part of  a marketing vehicle that enables you to communicate in a more organic and human way with your prospects.

But Focus Less

That said, and to move on to the second part of the post.

Social media should not be your focus, you should focus on making your business remarkable:

  • Instead of trying to figure out how to get retweets and likes, focus on delivering kickass value in your content
  • Instead of pushing sales on Twitter, focus on creating or improving a remarkable product or service
  • Instead of spending time on your Avatar, focus on building a solid foundation for your business
  • Instead of planning a Damage Control or an Apology strategy on Twitter, focus on building amazing customer service

Outside Perception vs. Inside Reality

If you company suck, Twitter is not you problem

The solution to your business is not putting up an attractive brand on Twitter and Facebook. The reality of the Internet of today is that it closes the gap between outside perception versus inside reality. Why? well, I believe everything eventually comes to the surface, good or bad. Transparency is not optional.

The social web will only amplify the fact that your company sucks. But if you focus on your “real” business and on building something that people will not only love to consume but will also help you spread, then your social media will be less of the headache it is today.

Awesome spreads because people love spreading it. Everybody loves talking about Zappos or Apple for a reason.

Final Thought

Entrepreneurs, artists, bloggers and anybody that wants to do anything online will need a community. One of my favorite quotes comes from a concept of Asset-Based Thinking and the book “Change The Way You See Everything

“You always have something of value to add. Always. Identify your assets, never doubt them, put them out there for the right people to see and watch what happens.

But you still have to create your awesome sauce before you spread it. A beautiful presence online will not make a boring and ordinary business better. I will only cover it for a while.

  • Amy LaMagra (@amyconcetta)

    This is a great post. I think so many times companies are so focused on the next big thing in social media, the next great idea that will get people talking that they forget the real reason they’re even doing social media – their product or service! Thanks again for a great post!

  • What a post Francisco! So spot on. The basis of all Social Media strategy is that you have a kick-ass product, content or service. Only THEN does it make sense to get involved. Fantastic reminder! Buffered that piece for sure! 

  • I agree. Twitter and Facebook are merely a vehicle to deliver your excellence.  If you’re delivering sub-par products, even if you do it in a dazzling and spectacular way, the flashy-ness of your delivery will wear off and your customer is left with something they don’t absolutely love.

    It starts with a bad-ass product. When you’ve got something that you personally love to use, and you KNOW it’s good, then go ahead and add on all the bells and whistles you want to your social media presence. Deliver it with a barber shop quartet. Announce it with trumpets and have doves fly a banner over your head.

    But all the fireworks, parades, and flashy landing pages aren’t going to do a bit of good if you’re promoting a product that stinks!

  • You got it right Francisco!!

    Very valuable content..For many people is more important to have 10000 likes or followers but their content or services really suck ass. Needless to say, the number of likes on your pages does not represent who you really are or that your product is great. I mean, nowadays you can BUY your followers or likes.

    @DJPerez79

  • Absolutely. Create a product or a service you love so much yourself that you can’t stop talking about it. Then focusing on social media will make total sense and it will be much easier.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • You’ve done it again! Excellent advice! It’s always been about the content. If you can deliver kick ass content with a kick ass attitude and great engagement, then your brand will sore. Thanks for this great reality check. 🙂

  • You are a perfect example of this Leo, I love what you’ve done online and how you have spread your message but you first had a solid foundation and, that’s why people, bloggers and even influencers are happy to help you spread.

    Thanks for stopping by my friend!

  • Amy, that’s what I call “getting distracted by shiny objects”. It’s very easy to lose sight of the main objective and forget why we’re even working so hard on social media.

    Tools are tools, they should only be a vehicle to get us from point a to point b, meaning our business objectives.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • I’m getting ready to go into a job interview as the communication person for a very good, powerful human services non-profit.  I know, from the job description, that some there think social media is the end-all-and-be-all for their communications work now.  But my argument — and I will tackle this in the interview, given the chance — is that social media needs to be used ONLY as part of an over-all communications plan and ONLY when it helps you meet the PR goals that you derive from your over-all organizational goals.  It’s like the old concept that if the PR person puts out lots of news releases, then the job is being done.  But that’s not necessarily doing what the organization needs to accomplish what it exists to do!

    Social media may be the right tool — but it also may be the wrong and time-wasting tool — for the job.

  • Hi Francisco – Word! Even I find that I spend way too much time on the little things and not enough time on tweaking and perfecting my services. Trying to use social media to market a broken company is a bad strategy. 

    There’s more to it than people realize. The awesome companies are kicking butt using social media… but it’s because they were awesome to begin with.

    I always tell people (and myself) that social media cannot save your business. In fact, social media is a magnifying glass. It will magnify the problems just as much if not more than the victories.

  • Francisco this is why I love your site. I was recently in a bit of burn out and it wasn’t because I was writing like mad but I was consuming more than I was creating. I have given myself a two week break from social media and my google reader, although I couldn’t resist seeing if you had anything new up.

  • Thank you Ayngelina, I love having you stop by.

    I recently took a nice break from social media, it’s needed from time to time and allows to come back with fresh ideas. You’re right, sometimes we are consuming more than we’re creating.

  • Tia, one of things I find working with clients is that there is so much focus on getting exposure that they forget what they want the exposure for.

    Social media is marketing and, marketing is only a segment of the business. You’re right, awesome companies are awesome with or without Twitter or Facebook.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Huge. 

    This may get a lot of people thinking man, so you’ve done your job. I align with it all. Become remarkable. Focus on that. Social media won’t help a sucky project. You’re right, it’ll make it worse.

  • Huge. 

    This may get a lot of people thinking man, so you’ve done your job. I align with it all. Become remarkable. Focus on that. Social media won’t help a sucky project. You’re right, it’ll make it worse.

  • another eye opener, esp for a beginner social media explorer like me. great points and direct. will definitely keep those in mind as i go along. thanks Francisco.

  • Danielsnyder

    Social Media can be such a major distraction it begins to prove counter productive.  I know I spend too much time on social sites and not enough time working on my own content, it creates frustration and even caused me to lose motivation.  Creativity comes and goes in waves, but there is far too much emphasis on using social media to get inspired… Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Well said Francisco. Social media isn’t an end in of itself, it’s one of the methods for us to build community around our companies. Does that sound looney tunes? Business has been like that forever. Social media allows us to build much bigger communities without borders.

    Inside of those communities are supporters, influencers and potential customers. There are people that can help us in ways we never know until we ask. It’s these people that help us build businesses larger and faster than ever before.

    It’s an awesome sight to see, and I’m looking forward to much more.

  • Good points!  A lot of people focus on why a social network isn’t working for them, them proceed with taking tons of time dedicated to it when they have nothing interesting to bring to the table, so to speak.  Without great content to share, they can share all day long and get little results.  Whereas if they have something awesome to share, they can just do it once and watch the social explosion begin!

  • Several good points were made here. At the end of the day, the focus always has to be on the business. Ironically, I often get so caught up in marketing and building awareness for my clients that I lose focus on doing the same for my own business. Basically my service IS my business; but it’s also quite time-consuming. I have to get better at the ‘their business’ vs ‘my business’ balance.

  • Thecafegabriel

    Thank you so much for sharing this post Francisco. I believe that many get caught up in the marketing and trying to get exposure (especially social media) while the actual product or service is sitting in the corner, crying for attention. I came to this realization myself, which is why I spent the last month and half finding ways to add value to my services and creating packages of services that clients and prospects actually want. It’s important that we as marketers and communicators bring the focus back to the most fundamental equation in everything that we do, which is satisfying the needs of our clients/customers.

    P.S. Love the new site by the way 😉

  • Man, you must have had some good mentors up front when you started that got you focused on spending the majority of your time on marketing and sales.

    Unless you’re completely horrible and beyond repair in these categories, this is where 80% of your time should be spent. Nothing happens until something is sold.

    And I love how you point out that social media is a channel that allows you to market to people who favor spending time in those channels but if the over-arching strategy is off, you end wasting your opportunity.

    Last but not least, I love the part of the quote at the end that focuses on “The right people”. We’re scared to death to offend or be rejected by or be told we’re wrong by EVERYONE. When we carry this into marketing, we’re asking for trouble because this keeps us from taking ANY action in fear of being burned at the stake by someone. And more often than not, the people who criticize aren’t people who want to give us money so who cares what they think.

    Thanks Francisco for reminding me of this! 

  • Great post! “The solution to your business is not putting up an attractive brand on Twitter and Facebook” Love it man! This is so true. The social platform will support your business not make it.

  • I am very knowledgeable after reading this. Not because I liked this article, but I got this in a very well manner. Very well explained.

  • Thanks to create a awareness in me for social media,I almost understand both part of it drawbacks and benefits of social mouth,Theme of your blog is very ably…

  • Your are so right! Kind of red pill/blue pill there aren’t we? I find that i spend too much time on the things that matter less . Good Lookin out!

  • Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

  • I remember a few years back, I had started my company with no experience
    at all. I mean no management, marketing, sales… you get it, no
    experience.

  • Long story short, I eventually arrived to network TV, had my own call center and about 600 calls were generated every day.

  • That’s why I decided to focus on Marketing and Sales and outsource the other stuff.

  • This post is actually social media advice, one that you probably don’t expect. Not from a social media blog.

  • No, I’m not crazy. I’m not here to say you should ignore social media
    and I’m certainly not here to say you should stop reading blogs about
    social media.

  • Getting calls will only get you results in the short run but building a remarkable business will keep you alive for a while.

  • That’s not all, you should also continue to use social media to establish and maintain relationships.