Why Creating a Social Media Strategy is a Big Waste of Time

I’m probably going to offend a lot of people, but here goes. If I read one more article about how to create a social media strategy, I’m going to scream. Why? Because social media isn’t worth anything without content – unless, of course, your goal is to chit chat.

I can’t tell you the number of businesses I’ve seen invest valuable resources trying to make social networking a strategic part of their corporate marketing. While social has been marched out as a cheap and easy way to influence and ‘engage’ the modern consumer, these efforts never achieve real success when managed in isolation. In my opinion, social media is one component of a content marketing strategy, not a stand-alone entity.

Boosting social networking with SEO doesn’t help – much
When social media strategies don’t offer immediate results, many businesses supplement it with SEO tactics for a short-term solution. Google Adwords and Facebook advertising are sure to drive traffic to your website or your social networking channels, but at what cost? And for how long? What you’re really doing with a combined social media/SEO approach is entering the land of SPAM. Paid advertisements might boost your traffic but as soon as you quit paying, you lose your audience. I’ve yet to meet a single person who is really impressed with a SPAM strategy.

What you need is a content marketing strategy
So what’s the answer? Forget about a social media strategy or investing in SEO. What you need is a content marketing strategy. Guess what? A good content marketing strategy relies on 3 essential components:

  • Original content
  • Social media
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

That’s right, social media is not a stand-alone strategy. SEO might have been a stand-alone strategy at one time but that ended with the introduction of Google Panda. Original content isn’t a stand-alone strategy either. In fact, creating a bunch of content is a waste of time if you don’t know how to distribute it and optimise it properly for the search engines. While content is a huge asset to your company, it’s not worth anything unless people can find it.

What does a content marketing strategy look like?
I’m so glad you asked. I’m going to cover that question, in depth, at the Content Marketing 101 Workshop that’s part of the Content Marketing World Sydney event. There’s still time to register – use the SYDSPEAK discount code for an additional $100 off your registration fee. If you can’t make it to my workshop, plan to come to the event anyway. I’ll be there and will be happy to discuss my opinion on a social media strategy then.

3 Essential components to a content marketing strategy
In the meantime, let me leave you with an infographic I created to illustrate the importance of having a comprehensive strategy involving content, social media and SEO. If you’ve never thought of it this way before, this infographic should lend insight to my way of thinking.

What’s your opinion on a social media strategy? I’d love to hear what you think.

  • Pingback: 5 Reasons to Stop Focusing on Social Media | Lush Digital()

  • Nigel Rushman

    And to illustrate the point – good content recycled two year later and still highly relevant – Thankyou

    • Thanks so much, Nigel. One thing I love about good content is it becomes a business asset. As you point out, this post is proof.

  • Hi ‘Painter’,

    Yes I do think it’s reality. It’s certainly my reality for my own company and my client’s businesses. It’s rarely achieved because most people aren’t willing to make the investment of time and resources, do the hard work and stick to it. An effective content marketing strategy will take at least 12 months of hard work to start showing results.

  • Sarah do you think this is reality? or just a wish list?

    The graphs look great, however they do not seem to be close to reality in my opinion.

    Every client would love to hit Decision Makers with the sweet spot of content, seo and social media, however this is rarely achieved and difficult to replicate.

  • Hi Harry,

    The title was intended to create a stir but I don’t think it’s misleading. I see businesses invest so much time and money in a social media strategy then get disappointed when they don’t get the results they want. The strategic efforts should be spent on content marketing which have social media and SEO components.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I suspect we’re on the same page about this.

  • While I agree with your content of the article I think the title is a bit misleading. Social media strategy is a waste of time as long as you do it right and you have the content to back it up. I always say that the content is king. If you don’t have the right content that attracts the audience no amount of SEO and social media will help you.

    As you mentioned you have to establish yourself as an authority in the field. The audience will follow. SEO and social media does help promote it though.