Written by Alex Hughes, Shifties

Strange thing to say, especially given I have just co-hosted a massive social media conference, but social media really is a waste of time for so many if it is not being approached correctly.

So I have seen all sides of this, from businesses that have blown up via social media organically, successful campaigns driven by paid ads on social media and businesses that have absolutely thrived without a social media account. I can tell you now that in most cases for micro-businesses there is way too much energy and effort spent on just “being on social media” and this was reaffirmed in my thinking after Cambridge Social Media Day 2020.

This is not me saying don’t look to utilise social media channels to get your product or service to market, quite the opposite, a reminder first of what the aim of the game is… You want to sell your product to a particular demographic of person, that is the goal for most of us, not brand awareness or excellence just simply getting your excellent products in front of the right person who will buy it no questions asked.

That all starts with reverse-engineering the journey from the end result of the purchase, back to the initial outreach approach and this is where your choice of channels to achieve that result comes in, there are crazy amounts of different options today when it comes to picking your channel’s to market and a huge trend is people looking at their product with “Channel market fit” approach to even adapt their products to align with the chosen channel at the product design stage (Just look at songs designed for TikTok as an example!).

Tik Tok
Insta Reels
Insta Feed
Insta Stories
Insta Ads
Insta Shop
Facebook Feed
Facebook Stories
Facebook Ads
Facebook Marketplace
LinkedIn Feed
LinkedIn Stories
LinkedIn Direct
Email marketing
Google Ads
…. and the list goes on, all rabbit holes in their own right!

You can’t do all of this, it just isn’t cost-effective in any sense until you have a team that can utilise all of these channels should they need to, this was a key reminder for me this week and one I wanted to share with you as I 100% will be eliminating a few channels myself for my own businesses.

Start with who your business can help and serve, then speak to them and ask them questions about your offering, if it is a market fit for your product then take what you know about the important part “Who” and reverse-engineer a route to these people you are trying to get in front of, if that includes Instagram then great, learn all there is to learn about it and leverage the shift out of it and if not then delete it and focus on the most effective route to market, it really is that simple and you might even find that those 20 or 30 customers you are looking for are simply a few phone calls or a simple ad campaign.

The market is over-complicated with options and personally, I would like to see more people just focussing on one or two key channels excellently and then you can go play with some other target market’s and expand the offering from there.

Anyway, they are my thoughts for the week! When you do know exactly what channels should be working for you and your business then watch back the talks from #CSMDay2020 on the specific channels relevant to you and if you want any recommendations of books, programmes or people to follow who are awesome at that thing then let me know and I would be happy to share.


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