Social Media – They are Doing it Wrong

I was talking to a potential client (correction, as of 9:08 this morning, a client) and they said they had avoided using social media with their event program because everything that they read tells them that they have to put tons of resources into the practice and for them, it looks like it will be a little too expensive and a little too hard. I laughed, in an understanding kind of way and let them know that it is not actually that hard or expensive. I also explained that they are totally getting the message that some would want them to hear.

All over the internet, at bookstores and on TV there are 1000 very loud voices shouting about how to “do” social media. They are intelligent, well spoken and know a lot of big buzzwords that make them experts. What they will not tell you is that they are making social media complicated for their own devices. They are perpetuating the myth that you NEED them and whatever trick they are selling to be successful and if you don’t use them and their high priced advice, you are going to FAIL. In fact, you are going to fail on a level not seen since the Hindenburg exploded on landing.

What is happening right now in Social Media  is very similar to what cosmetic companies do with make-up. A tale is concocted by very smart and important people that says unless you put eight pounds of goop on your face, you are not beautiful. They then make sure this message gets out every way they know how and the high paid spokesperson reinforces this message, over and over and over and over and over.

Now, people who have a natural beauty buy into this and fail to see that they are already awesome without the sticky, hard to put on, comes out of a weird tube, is full of petrochemicals, smells bad, nasty stuff. They have just bought the myth that make-up somehow makes them a more glamorous cover girl (or guy).

We need to stop this whole rigmarole before it goes to far. Social media should be the go-to marketing tool for meetings and events because it is not hard and it is not difficult. It is effective without the glam, it is awesome without the window dressing. It connects you to your audience in a more natural un-salesy like way. Which by the way is exactly what these so called experts are pitching.

They are Sham-Wowing social media.

Creating a great social media presence for your meetings and events does not take tricks, gimmicks  or sales prowess. What it takes is heart and a great product. If people love your events and they love your program, they are going to like your event wherever you happen to be, you  just have to put the right ingredients together.

How you treat your friends is totally up to you but the last time my friends came over, I didn’t get all dolled up and neither did they.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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