Does Social Media Still Work for Lead Gen?
The world's inhabitants create a really crowded space on social media. They each have their own goals and purposes for their interaction on the various platforms they engage with.
Most of these social platforms were never created for business and are not set up to be profitable for businesses.
The main focus is twofold. First, it is the end user's experience. And secondly, it's the ability to connect with other users and rally around an idea or cause that matters to them.
In this way, the human race as a whole is segregating themselves into useful categories or clusters. Effectively, everyone enjoys the proximity they share with other like-minded people.
Exploitation of Social Media Platforms
When businesses attempt to exploit the opportunity of this system and market to a very specific niche or sector, they run into a variety of challenges.
The users never intended on engaging on these platforms for business. They use it as a place to connect with people and share their lives with like-minded people all over the world.
The platforms themselves don’t cater to a smooth end-user experience with the promotions that are interrupting their feeds.
Messages that are presented in these places may not be well received because of the information overload on these platforms.
“We have become a people of the thumb” - Unknown (referring to today’s addictive behavior of scrolling until we are forced back to reality).
Additionally, many of us don’t even have a clear idea as to what we are trying to accomplish on these platforms.
We want to be entertained and having the ability to choose our topics of interests without being interrupted by commercials.
Thus, when marketers arrive on the scene and start disrupting, people move on to the next new and shiny platform.
A Step Back
Let’s take a step back and look at the formation of social media and what it has evolved into today.
At the time, it’s main purpose was to connect with fellow Harvard students and perhaps snoop around at other people’s profiles (these college kids).
There never was any intent to create the marketing behemoth that it has emerged into, it was simply a social tool. A wonderful new way of connecting the world together in a super powerful way.
The marketers and the monetization happened after the fact. Once it grew and became a force to reckon with, the power became clear.
First Time In History!
For the first time in human history, we had real-time access to a database of knowledge of individuals around the globe’s preferences, likes, dislikes, age, gender, marital status etc.
The wealth of information that Facebook has is simply astronomical. This is a marketers dream.
One can literally write down the characteristics of what I believe is my perfect client. Then, they simply display a generic looking message in their Facebook feed pushing them to my product or service.
Companies with smart marketers have made many millions in revenue from using tactics like these to reach their really specific target market.
Target Market For New Social Media Platforms
As you may know, these platforms are primarily dominated by the younger folks.They are the early adopters and they figure out how the new platform works before the ‘adults’, the marketers come and make it all boring and business oriented.
When this happens, the younger kids move on to the next newer and better platform. Until the marketers eventually go there.
Marketers do and should go where the people are.
The problem is that the people are constantly running from them because they are in a sense ruining a fun experience for them.
This would explain why Facebook is now for the older folks and even Instagram users age has increased.
The younger kids are now all on Snapchat until the marketers come there and disrupt that too.
Do You See The Problem Here???
By going to a platform that was created for a fun and cool way of interacting socially online and turning into a front for business development and lead generation, we are ruining the very tools that we are enjoying so immensely.
We need to have a system that is created specifically for business networking. In this system, professionals are clustered into meaningful and small groups. Thus enabling them to share real-time information with each other and share a mutually valuable experience.
What About LinkedIn?
Yes, I heard of LinkedIn and that’s not the solution either.LinkedIn's fundamental flaw is they were trying to create a professional version of Facebook.
That’s a huge mistake.
Facebook is for personal and social engagement and a business platform by its very definition is for authentic networking that produces real-time business results.
LinkedIn suffers from the information overload just as much as Facebook.
When was the last time you went onto LinkedIn and found a real prospect? When was the last time you found and hired an employee off of LinkedIn?
I don’t know about you, but 90% of my feed is people getting in front of the camera with some sort of inspirational story, a photo with a good line underneath it (Instagram style) or just someone’s random rant.
LinkedIn is just not achieving the purpose of real networking that achieves real-time business results.
There has to be a better way. I have a few ideas...