Break the Rules – Part 5

Welcome to the latest edition of our brand new weekly series, Break the Rules. Each week our plan is to highlight something you will have heard from some marketing expert as a best practice to be disobeyed at your peril. And we’ll tell you why it’s a rule you should break.

Last week’s rule was Keep Your Text Short.

This week’s rule = Use Social Media

The world is more social than ever before. A lot of people will have a problem with me saying that. But regardless of how “social” social media really is, it’s definitely changed the landscape of online marketing forever.

It goes beyond saying that most marketing experts will expect you to be actively participating on major social networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not, they’ll say, you’re missing out on key opportunities to interact with potential customers, existing customers, and the market at large.

“It’s one of the most important marketing channels!”

But what if they’re wrong? What if, for you, it’s more of a time suck? What if you have a hard time proving the ROI of your social media activity (which is true for so many companies)?

If social media is a rule, I think you should break it.

Why do I think that? Because if you avoid social media, you will have more time and energy to activities that you know are effective.

I’m not arguing that social media is not effective. I am, however, arguing that many small companies spend too much time worrying about social media when it’s not the thing that is helping them grow. And, in fact, it may be the thing keeping them from growing for the simple reason that they do spend so much time on it.

Start with those activities you know are working. Can you do more of them? Are there other activities that are similar you can test? Focus your resources on these actions and take them off social media. I promise you that the sky won’t fall.

Have a “rule” you think we should write about? Share it with us in the comments below or post it to Twitter @zheller using #marketingrules