What Do Social Media Marketing and Weight Loss Have in Common?

Scams, lies and half-truths. They’re the staple of so-called gurus and a real problem for people trying to create tangible, measurable outcomes. Whether it’s losing weight or producing leads and sales, your success relies on ignoring tempting short cuts, forming better habits and not caving to everyday pressures. Believe it or not, tuning out advice that will not work is an easy task when it comes to social media marketing.

Scams, lies and half-truths. They’re the staple of so-called gurus and a real problem for people trying to create tangible, measurable outcomes. Whether it’s losing weight or producing leads and sales, your success relies on ignoring tempting short cuts, forming better habits and not caving to everyday pressures. Believe it or not, tuning out advice that will not work is an easy task when it comes to social media marketing.

Stop the Insanity!
“It’s official. It’s now impossible to keep up with the irrelevant data, false claims, illogical conclusions, and plain bad journalism associated with positive claims about social media,” says Robert Bacal, CEO of Bacal and Associates.

It’s hard to not feel just like Bacal. The din of misinformation is a major hurdle for our businesses. We’re constantly being told “do this, do that, but not like this, this way.” Then everything changes.

The mountain of contradictory advice emanating from the weight loss industry finally caused the iconic weight loss diva, Susan Powter, to yell “Stop the insanity!” Sure, Powter cashed in but that’s precisely the point. It was a stroke of marketing genius. Hers was the “anti-insanity” answer.

Step 1: Recognize Lies
Losing weight and making social media produce a lead or sale have a lot in common: Charlatans selling short cuts to people who need to create change in their lives. Trying to make Facebook, Twitter, blogging or YouTube produce a sale can feel just as hopeless as trying to lose weight. Think about the constant stream of contradictory advice you get in both cases.

First, we were told if you want to shag the extra baggage you’ve got to cut calories. Then, more recently, we were told calories have little to do with weight loss. Remember dietary cholesterol? First it caused heart disease, then it didn’t.

Just the same, we all know that being authentic on social platforms is key to convincing customer to trust us right? Wrong according to a SocialMediaToday blogger showing your true colors is a BAD idea. Huh? There’s a fox in the hen house or a bat in the belfry!

Step 2: Mix in Tough Love
The problem is we humans prefer to believe simple lies rather than slightly complicated truths. 19th Century philosopher and historian, Alexis Tocqueville was the first to formally make the observation about human behavior. But here’s the reality: If you are going to succeed at generating leads and sales with social media you’ll need to start tuning out the simple lies and investing time in the slightly complicated truth.

That is, making the sale with social media has requires foresight, planning and application of direct response principles that have been around for decades. But some tough love is in order too.

No, success is not as easy as investing a certain, optimal amount of time with social media each day.

No, success is not a factor of being perceived as “more human” by customers or expressing your culture on social media.

No, success is not tied to how many times you get re-tweeted on Twitter.

No, you will not be successful by drowning yourself in the sea of “top 5” or “top 10” social media tips articles.

Step 3: Choose What Not to Do
Where to start? It’s best to tune out the noise. Think about it. When it comes to social media marketing, there are plenty of opportunities to not invest time in trivial nonsense-to choose what not to do. There’s a huge amount of worthless noise out there posing as helpful tips and tricks.

Next time you see an overzealous list of facts about how awesomely huge, fast, or urgent the social web is, consider asking yourself how relevant that fact is to the task at hand, selling. If there’s very little (or nothing at all) to do with the information, simply tune it out.

Yes, Facebook is the size of a country. And? YouTube is the second largest search engine. And? Fifteen percent of bloggers spend 10 hours or more each week blogging. And? Twenty-five percent of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content. And? Twitter is adding 300,000 users a day. And?

If you can’t readily do anything with the information, just tune it out. The anecdote may be interesting, but ask yourself:

How is that fact relevant to our business?

Do I have time for enthusiastic or impressive anecdotes that don’t help me do things that plug into sales? Does our marketing team?

Becoming liberated (and you will feel liberated!) takes focus, patience, and a belief in your business instinct—that “doing less of some things” is the right thing to do.

Let me know if this helps!

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

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