I wrote the above headline in March of 2012. Like many ideas that come to mind, this was one I thought about, noted as “get to later” then forgot about it. Since then I’ve written numerous times on why many of the so-called “guru’s” were espousing ideas on exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. For if you followed most of their proclamations it would divert your attention and resources into doing all the wrong things – for the wrong reasons. i.e., Trick yourself into working for the algorithms rather than working to gain true customers. It seems I was a little more prescient on this than I first thought.
I’ll break this down using a few examples this way you’ll have hard evidence to make judgement calls for yourself and maybe put some of these insights or revelations into practice in your own endeavors.
Let’s start here from this basic premise: Of course the following will include sweeping generalizations. This is not a white paper or a dissertation for a Ph.D. However, my results are from true experience via proven, verifiable results. Not theory or “pie in the sky” hopes and dreams.
For years I have heard nothing but social media this, social media that with one after another so-called “guru” giving speeches, selling programs, and more about how one “must” be schooled in SEO (search engine optimization) social media, and all the rest. The underlying premise was: If you weren’t doing it their way, you were not only wrong, they also insinuated you were stupid. I stated many times: “The only people making money from social media are the people telling you, then selling you, that you need social media.” The same goes for SEO.
Over the last few years I can not only state but rather I can show proof positive: If you would have followed their advise, as of today, all of it, yes – all of it would be absolutely worthless. And -not only that – what’s worse is you would now be looking at all your hard work, all that you built, all you relied on – gone. Want to add insult to injury? If you were relying on it for your income? That too could be gone and you would now need to start over.
Here’s a list as to what has transpired just in that short period of time and in no special order.
Facebook® has changed everything you knew about reaching your fans. What have they changed? Well – you now can’t reach them in a manner you would find conducive to business. All those “likes” you pleaded for? Basically worthless. Why? It seems FB has deemed they know how your fans want to interact with you better than you do. So, they changed it so if you want to reach them for that “organic” growth everyone always throws around as the buzz word de jure. You’ll have to now pay. And yes, FB doesn’t accept their own “likes” as cash either, they like cash. So, all that hard work you did through FB is now FB’s property. But don’t worry, you can always buy “likes” on the cheap, the web is full of deals for pennies per thousand. Just do your own search – you’ll find them.
You can read a good explanation on this and more by pasting the following emboldened headlines into your own search engine. They are from WebPro™ News. Personally I like them, your views may differ.
Facebook Says Your Organic Reach Would Be Worse If It Showed Everything In The News Feed
Building your brand on Linkedin™ you say? That’s far more supportive to business. Well, not so fast. How about all that work one did making sure their “Product & Services” tab was up to date with content and more. Oops, yes, near overnight that was obliterated. But don’t worry, they announced one should now use their “Showcase Page” instead. Sounds great, only problem – double the work, double the effort. I guess they believe you have all the time you need to do that seeing all the “sales” they generate for you. I mean, you’re now able to afford that yacht right?
You can read a good explanation of this here:
Why Some Businesses Are Unsatisfied With LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Just better hope they don’t do that again or you could be looking at needing to write 4 times as much next time. But hey – its paid off exponentially for you in sales so far, you’ll just now be able to afford a captain to free up that time, right?
“You need reviews! You must have reviews or else no one will ever come in your place of business!” And so went the rallying cry or yell, sorry Yelp™. You were both told as well as encouraged by the all the players to make sure you told your customers to go on Yelp and give you a good review. Just now you found out if they did it from inside your business – regardless if you can prove they’re legit – they’re probably history. As in gone. Now what do you do? Explain that you really were deserving of those reviews? As in:” It wasn’t us, they wrongfully did that to us!” I can hear that voice in all those potential customers inner ears: “Of course they did, sorry but we just lost our appetite.” But don’t worry, they’ll be back. Right?
You can read a good explanation of this here.
Yelp Equates Asking For Reviews To Spam
Let’s talk SEO. Remember when all you heard was: “You must write for SEO, you must allow comments, you must guest blog, you must link to others, you must, you must.” Now? Oh oh. All that kind of winning information has now found its way into the fastest route to the trash heap. If you followed just that info alone as a way to be found, not only would you not be brought to the front of the search engine results line, you would find yourself not only in the back of the bus, but more likely – running behind it. All of that “winning” information is now the most sure-fire way to be penalized.
You can read a good explanation of this here, here, and here.
Google Has Reputable Sites Afraid To Link Naturally
Matt Cutts Talks About Coming Google Algorithm Changes
Google’s Attack On Guest Blogging Reignites Irrational Link Removal Craze
Think it can’t happen to anyone? Look at the Ebay™ Google™ search war. Suddenly Ebay is finding its search results nearly gone from the visible. Yet, a funny thing seems to have happened. Now since Goog is revamping and moving into more e-commerce, results of the products placed in Google’s marketplace are in the top results. Huh! Imagine that. I guess that’s just…coincidence?
The only thing that is going to help you not only prosper, but remain relevant in this ever-changing world of technology are the fundamental principles that are lacking in most so-called “business models” today.
You must, I repeat, must build your business or brand from a standpoint of winning and satisfying customers you grow organically 1 customer at a time. Period. One satisfied customer that has paid for your service or wares that you delight as to enable them to openly and without fear of recommendation (as in they’ll regret telling a friend because you don’t deliver consistently) can grow your word of mouth referral base exponentially to the point you may have more business than you can handle successfully. All without the need of employing a computer, let alone “social media.”
Build a business…not a facade of business. For the only one’s that will be left standing and prospering are the one’s that understood the difference and have an exponential leap in regards to viability as well as profitability as the one’s that unwittingly built facades crumble.
Think I’m full of hot air on just how fast everything you thought you knew is upside down, and turned around? I wrote this post originally with the above headlines as links. However, the more I thought about it, even though they are relevant to this post as to express more details and insights, instead of them possibly thanking me, or being grateful that I would see their content worthy of linking to, I could be hurting them because the SEO police might interpret this whole post as “link bait” and penalize them for their insights rather than reward them.
And, there are still a myriad of people telling (and selling) people the advice that that’s exactly what they still should be doing. Then doubling down with the fallacy of: If they aren’t getting the desired results – they should do even more! As I’ve stated: The only people making money with social media, are the ones selling you their ideas on social media.
© 2014 Mark St.Cyr