Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Recently, someone mentioned an old Faberge shampoo commercial. It reminded me of what people often believe about social media. In the Faberge ad, Heather Locklear says “I’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on…” When does that ever happen? Answer: Never! Almost never, anyway.

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Long-Term Strategy

Social media is a long-term strategy; you need to be in it for the long haul. As this article from Inc Magazine, 8 Things You Need to Understand About Social Media, underscores, “There are very few brands that have instant fame and exponential growth on social media, just as there are very few overnight successes in business.” Amen to that.

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The Reality

Here’s a scenario that’s closer to what really happens. Say someone is at a party, drinking. And the subject of your business comes up. At that point, someone might say, “oh, yeah. She did a pretty ok job.” And then, if both people remember what you were talking about, one of the people might write down your website or phone number. Maybe. And that’s if someone was looking specifically for your service or product.

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Social Media Helps

When exposed to your business or brand, people will tend to remember you longer. And if they know you personally, they’ll remember you even more. Social media helps to get your business in front of more people, but it’s not a magic bullet. Speaking of which, you might like Social Media Expectations that Are Full of Baloney.

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Social Media Can’t Help a Rotten Business

If you treat your customers badly, social media can’t fix that. If your product is one that most people don’t want, social media can’t fix that, either. For instance, I once had a client who manufactured clothing. The fabric and manufacturing were very nice, but the outfits looked outdated. Social media can help get people to your website or get more eyes on your product, but it’s not magic!

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Testimonials Help

What people say on social media does help, but it’s not magic. It does remind people that your business exists. Sometimes people just need a little push so that they will buy from you. So if they don’t know that you exist, your sales will suffer. And if you’re looking for a new social media manager, you might want to read: Social Media Manager: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours.

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Influencers Also Help

If you have influential people in your life, hearing them talk about a solid business can help even more. So having one or two people who believe in what you do can really boost your business.

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Follow Those Who Like Your Posts

Here’s a good tip, and way to improve your engagement and maybe up your follower count, too: “like” or follow people who like your posts. It’s pretty simple. That was a good tip from Fast Company’s 6 Social Media Tips That Will Improve Your Marketing.

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On the Other Hand

If you really mistreat people, you can bet others will hear about it on social media! There’s a local grocery store that I’m always hearing about on Facebook. They may not even know that people are talking about them, either. In that case, two people will tell two people, and so on. Unfortunately.

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Insomnia: A Social Media Manager’s Battle

Insomnia: A Social Media Manager's Battle

Insomnia: A Social Media Manager’s Battle

Social media managers often get insomnia. I read about it one time on Mashable. I was sleepy, but I think that’s where it was. We worry about getting online traffic, clicks, and a whole host of other ridiculous things, such as the following.

The Ridonculous Headline

We worry about silly things like headlines. You’ve all heard that the headline is the most important part of writing an article or blog post. It needs to be catchy, but not linkbait. You want people to click on that link and then dive into the blog post. You might want to read about why headline writing is such a pain in the asterisk.


With social media, there’s always more to do. One more tweet to write, one more person to talk to, one more half-baked task to implement. So while you’re trying to sleep, there’s always a little voice saying “what did you forget to do?”

The Stupid Call to Action

As if writing a decent Facebook post isn’t hard enough, there’s always that stupid call to action. Sometimes it’s implied, but usually not. It can be a question, such as “tell me what you would do,” “do you agree?” “Tell us! Yes or No.” Sometimes it’s a button to subscribe or sign up for a newsletter. Hubspot has some terrific call to action examples, by the way.

The Ludicrous Return on Investment

If you track everything carefully and use your analytics, you can figure out where you’re getting the most return on investment (ROI). But with social media, it’s more like your audience gets warmed up before making a sale. Could you track where every single customer comes from?

The Image

The Image

The Compelling Image

Is the image captivating enough? Does it tell a story? Is it boring? Again, without sliding over into linkbait, the image has to ride that fine edge between captivating and linkbait. Will your audience lean in to see what’s happening in the image? Line, color, and texture all need to work together.


Timing is another preposterous thing to consider. If you post too early, no one will be awake (except the other insomniacs who haven’t been to bed yet. Post too late and only the zombies and creatures of the night will see it. Then again, you don’t want to do what everyone else does! That late night post just might get picked up and go viral! It could happen!

What if No One Shows up to the Twitter Chat?

What if No One Shows up to the Twitter Chat?

What If There’s a Chat and No One Shows Up?

Akin to “if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there…”. You tweet out carefully crafted questions and nobody answers. Tick-tock, Tick-tock, Tick-tock. Crickets. Getting those first few people to join your chat can take forever. Meantime, you have to keep plugging away, and whistling a happy tune.

Scheduling Versus Being Online Live

Scheduling Versus Being Online Live

Scheduling Versus Being Online Live

Do you wait around for someone to respond to your tweet? Or do you post, go away, and come back three days later? That’s the dilemma right there. Of course, the more you’re online, the better your chances are of making a good contact. And as my buddy, Bridget Willard says, “Relationships are long-term investments.”

What Dopey Things Keep You Up At Night?

What Dopey Things Keep You Up At Night?

What Dopey Things Keep You Up At Night?

Leave me a ridiculous comment!




Eight Things I Miss About Working in an Office (and Their Replacements)

Eight Things I Miss About Working in an Office

Eight Things I Miss About Working in an Office

Maybe you love working in an office. The long commute, the jostling with fellow worker bees in the elevators, and the lunches at your desk all contribute to your feeling of being a productive and upstanding citizen. There are so many things about working in an office that are fabulously fun, aren’t there? But since you’re working from home, like the other 10 gajillion people in the U.S. of A, here are some things you can replace those missing items with. And if working from home makes you feel distracted, here are some tips for time management for baby boomers (but they could apply to anyone). By the way, thank you to my blogging buddy Bridget Willard for this topic idea.

Ye Olde Water Cooler

The water cooler is a place to vent, to hear a quick joke, and to see who’s wearing what. You might get lonely if you don’t have something to replace your water cooler. For me, I’ve used Facebook secret groups as a place to connect with fellow social media managers. Gather a few of your friends there and you can leave your Facebook open and run back to the water cooler whenever you like. Or, if you get too distracted while answering email, close it for awhile.

The Commute

A few of the people I know put on clothes–remember those?–and drive a few blocks and come back home. Others like to have an office outside in the yard so they can take their coffee outside. Even the few steps to cross the yard and get to the “office,” helps set the business tone for the day. I like to go outside, have breakfast when the weather is nice, and come back inside and work. Even a few minutes is pretty nice.

Long Lunches

Homemade Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Homemade Grilled Cheese Sandwich

For me, having lunch is more about the quality of the food. So I buy really good bread, salami, cheese, etc., and make my own. Having the best ingredients is pretty satisfying. Here is a real toasted cheese sandwich (my boyfriend made for me).


Since I’m on social media a lot, I like Google Hangouts (these can be private or public). You can see your friends, and sometimes their kids, spouses, or pets walk through. You can also send notes or links, put on funny hats and mustaches, take photos of your friends for blackmail purposes, and more.

Brainstorm Meetings

A tweetchat is a way to set a topic and hear from a lot of different folks. You can set the topic and the questions, and everybody goes crazy chatting. It’s usually for a limited time, and is different than a Facebook group. It’s a terrific way to get a lot of ideas in a short amount of time.

The Elevators

I don’t really miss elevators, but I really miss the elevator music! Not really. Having white noise (Relax Melodies is my favorite) helps me stay focused on my work. Some people can work with loud music, but for me that’s not possible.

The IT Department

Having someone come by when you call them to fix your computer, check your connections, or repair the phone system is valuable. So you’ll need someone to make sure your system is running smoothly. And did I mention it’s a lot easier to find someone before you need them?


Sometimes having structure enforced upon you can make you feel secure. I don’t know. I really like to set my own hours. If I want to take a long break in the middle of the day, go to the gym, or for a walk, the work is still there. As long as it gets done, you can generally do most chores any time, especially since some things can be scheduled ahead of time.

Do You Miss Working in An Office?

Why? Is that a constant feeling? Or just something that bothers you every once in a while?

Social Media Managers: 10 Ways the San Francisco Giants Can Improve Your Game

Social Media Managers: 10 Ways the San Francisco Giants Can Improve Your Game

Social Media Managers: 10 Ways the San Francisco Giants Can Improve Your Game

Recently, I saw the San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park. You might not realize that the Giants have their very own Social Media Cafe, where you can see tweets about the game scroll across giant screens and see their awesome command center. Here are some of the ways I found the Giants’ social media effective, and some ways the Giants can improve your game as Social Media Managers (“SMMs”).

Engage Fans Before They Reach the Game

While waiting for our friends to arrive, my friends decided to visit the Giants clothing store in the park. I tweeted a picture of some t-shirts (below). And @CafeSFG not only heard me, but replied! So my experience of them being awesome began before we even got to the game. How awesome is that? For SMMs, your blog can be a way to “warm up” your possible clients before they meet you in person. If you need hints on engagement, you might want to read my post on being engaged and tweeting texts versus links.

The reply tweet from @CafeSFG, below.

Be Accessible

If you visit the the San Francisco Giants’ Cafe at AT&T park, you’ll notice a few things. You can walk right up to their social media team and talk to them. As in, “Hey, thanks for sending me that tweet!” accessible. They sit in a room, where you can see all the hashtags and accounts they’re monitoring on a huge screen. And you can get an idea of what it would be like to work there, how quickly the tweets fly by, and how fast-paced the job really is. As an SMM, how accessible are you to your fans? Meeting fans in person is always the best way, but if you can’t do that, then how about Google Hangouts on Air, responding to people on Twitter, or meeting people at conferences?

Be Accessible

Be Accessible

Allow for Spontaneity

If working for the Giants isn’t the most spontaneous social media position in the world, I’m not sure what is. Fans tweet and post Instagram pictures, which the team reposts, replies to, and favorites. Chosen tweets and Instagram pix appear on the big screen, so you can see your own words and pictures “up in lights” as it were. Sometimes being an SMM is the extreme opposite of spontaneity, with all the scheming that goes into planning posts, creating good content, and choosing images. But having spontaneity is what makes the job interesting, and for me, is what makes me want to get up and do it all over the next day.

Let Your Fans Create the Content

When your fans have interesting things to say, why not let them? When there is passion and excitement about the game, why not allow those opinions and images to flow freely? If you’re at all familiar with the success of ICanHazCheeseburger, you know that letting fans create content is a win times a million. Although this article about the popular cat meme is from 2008, I love the explanations (along with the charts and graphs).

Give Them the Right Drink

On a cold night, give your fans a hot drink. The Giants’ cafe has hot coffee, chocolate, and pastries from Peets Coffee. Are you giving your fans the right drink?

Create Branded Clothing

The Giants have worked with brands such as Victoria’s Secret to create their soft, beautifully designed and branded clothes. And I’ve heard the Giants are about to sign a deal with ZipzShoes for co-branded footwear. Maybe you don’t have a huge budget, but many places let you make one or two pieces at a time (including Zipzshoes).

Tweet from Zipzshoes saying they’re working with the Giants (guess who their first customer will be?)!

Let Your Fans Share the Spotlight

When a fan shares a really great photo on social media, that photo gets reshared on the big screen. At a Giants’ game, fans are watching taking pictures of their team, but also watching to see if that picture they took will show up and get reshared. Here are some tips on creating a good retweet, by the way.

Be A Leader

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge fan of the Giants in more ways than one. They really knocked it out of the ballpark with their social media engagement. While creating their own cafe and engaging with fans may not be the only things causing them to sell out their games, those things do cause many fans to want to return. What are you doing to knock it out of the ballpark for your clients?

Give ‘Em Fireworks!

Give 'Em Fireworks!

Give ‘Em Fireworks!

Not just fireworks, but fireworks! The SF Giants’ fireworks display was bigger and better than many displays I’ve seen on the fourth of July. You can walk outside the ballpark onto the dock and see everything overhead–one of the best displays I’ve ever seen. Again, maybe you don’t have the budget for a fireworks display, but how about an unexpected gift? Flowers and chocolate, anyone?

Be a Winner

Last, but not least, the SF Giants won the game! Of course they did! What are you doing to create a win for your fans or business?

Be a Winner

Be a Winner






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