Dark Little Secret Or Best Decision Ever?

I wanted to write about a confusing and even controversial marketing topic today – Paid Social Media Growth, Engagement & Followers. Specifically, what it can do for small businesses and startups, and why, as a marketing professional, I decided to open a side business for it.

There are a LOT of myths and mixed reviews out there about this topic. I hope to shed some light on this topic for anyone interested and even educate those who are most curious. First – and most importantly – what is the difference between real and fake paid social media?

Fake social media and “bots” are accounts that are created in mass quantity to look like real accounts, but that do not have a true user behind them. I do not sell or endorse the use of bots or fake accounts, especially any kind engineered to promote negativity or hatred.

However, real paid social media are accounts that were created by a genuine human, with an email address that is attached to a real account, owned by a real person. Real social media accounts can include accounts that are highly visible and highly active as well as accounts that are not so active. But they are real.

Paid real social media can do a number of positive things for  individuals and businesses. But before I mention the benefits, what CAN’T they do for you?

Buying social media followers and engagement IS NOT equal to acquiring new fans and customers. You are not buying true fans, real customers or anyone guaranteed to like or buy your products or services. Some might be converted if your content is just amazing, others may never even know they follow you.

I come from the world of retail sales and leadership – with over 12 years in corporate experience –  and now I run my own digital marketing business. I subscribe to the ideology of “Customer experience/service over everything.” Customer experience is how a customer feels about your business and your brand, how likely they are to refer you to their friends and family, and often times, their “buying decision” is determined by whether or not they got a confident and strong feeling about who you are as company, or the person that was helping them. Paid social media is the tech side of this very same concept, and when used correctly, can help you grow your business at a significantly faster rate.

When you buy real social media accounts as followers/subscribers/page likes or engagement strategies, think of it really as “reputation services.” Paid social media can attract new organic real customers, (Customers – not followers – attract organic paying customers!) because when that person decided to check out your ad, your boost, your profile or your post, they were given a strong, confident feeling and felt reassured of your business because …. drumroll …. other people like and follow you too.

Yes, the world is full of or leaders and followers, but psychologically, and even on a subconscious level, people will feel more confident and positive about something that other people also like. People like to feel like they are part of the in-crowd, and not drifting off into uncharted territory, especially in business where they might get ripped off and misled.

Real paid social media on YouTube, for example, can truly make the difference in your business by applying the right keyword strategy along with applying paid likes, ranking views, comments and more. By doing this, you can take the top spots on YouTube searches when people are looking for content related to what you offer. That alone is huge! But the strategy (which you can access here in a FREE PDF Guide) is critical. You have to follow a few steps in order to have your videos rank well, not just slap on some engagement randomly.

Real paid social media can take your new small business / startup profile from 62 likes or even 1!!!! page follower to a few thousand to start, so that when you put out your first few posts about your amazing (actually amazing!) product and service, people don’t judge you and discount you simply because you are new! This is HUGE. And it happens all the time. Valid, amazing businesses are ignored because they are simply new, and its sad. It’s like when you need job experience to get a job. Help! It has to start somewhere… so, maybe you “fake it till you make it,” so to speak. Just like you might have to use your friend or parent’s business for a job reference to land that first important position, you can use paid social media to jump start your profile or a post to get others to take you more seriously and give you a chance. 

It is the difference between someone going “ugh, 23 followers? Who are they?? Are they Legit?” and instead seeing strong numbers like “5,326” and going “Oh, cool. Let me check out their website / post / service, etc.”

The Power of Advertising and Influence.

Paid social media engagement and emoticons can be added to your boosted posts and advertisements to start strong — making sure you get the best value for your ads, and so you don’t have to put an advertisement out there with nothing, hoping that one person is going to randomly give you the benefit of the doubt and give you that first “like” or comment. (TRUTH: MOST ads you see have paid engagement on them!)

MOST accounts that are managed by marketing firms and agencies have paid engagement on them — they just don’t tell the client that!) It will help STOP THEIR MINDLESS SCROLLING and think “Oh wait, this looks cool an popular, let me read it too.”

Especially with the emoticon services. Marketers will PRE LOAD laughs, loves, angry etc! to intentionally influence other people’s emotional reactions and influence them to have those same reactions. PSYCH101, people…

Social Media Influencer’s, who get paid to promote other people’s content, often throw on paid social media engagement too – even IF they have 100k + followers that will like your post, they want even more. Why? To give you and everyone else a strong, confident feeling that things are going well! To help things go viral! To make you more money, and so on.I’ve often referred to paid social media as online marketers dark little secret.  These services have been used by your favorite celebs, tech companies, blogs,  politicians, major corporations and more. However, many marketing businesses are not transparent about it. They say they will get you explosive engagement, but never tell you how.

While I fully believe in using paid social media, I don’t feel comfortable operating that way. As a communication consultant, and a someone who cares a great deal about entrepreneurs, small business owners and customer experience as a whole, I decided I wanted to be extra transparent about it. Help educate people on WHY its a good idea, and let people know that, basically, if you’re not using it – you’re falling behind and not being competitive enough.

Don ‘t Worry, Be Happy!

Again, paid social media – using real accounts – are not hurting your accounts, and they are not bots. Facebook and Instagram, for example, don’t shut your account down for doing it. They turn the other way because, unlike bots, they can see they are real accounts. They might not love the fact that servers are forcing the actions they take, but ultimately, the platforms still win. Think about it, if someone’s ad does significantly better, they will keep paying for more ads. If a video was super popular and went viral, that platform gets more traffic and more users. And so do you. So, its really a win-win situation for all.

Are you interested yet? Even a little curious?

If you are interested in learning more about how to apply a paid social media growth strategy to their accounts properly, what to buy, how/who/where/what – all that good stuff – I am happy to help you. You can access my website here, or you can send me a message via email (Katya @ dailybuzzwords (dot) com) and I can answer any questions you might have, no pressure to buy.

If you post YouTube videos, you DEFINITELY want to find out about the keyword / social ranking strategy I mentioned before. Its important.

If you want to start your own paid social media business on the side as well, I can show you how to do that too.

My goal with this post is to be a resource, and the bonus of this post is to make some sales for those who realize the power and potential of these services. But first, the barriers need to be broken down so that people can understand more about this topic, how it works, and why its important.

IF anyone got to the end of my long long post, and you send me an email message with your recent, public facebook post link, I’ll give you 100 post likes free too. (At least the first few hundred people or so, in the spirit of customer experience and giving 🙂 )

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Any positive experiences with it, fears, worries, confusion – anything. Please share!

Wishing you all a wonderful Saturday — and a gentle reminder to go after your passion and chase your dreams!

Katya

© 2018 iflourish, all rights reserved.

Need a new website, business and marketing plan, social management or SEO? We offer complimentary strategy sessions: Buzzword Consulting 

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Choose Your Own Adventure 

As a child I remember driving from Oregon to California with my family in the car, windows down with hot air blasting as we had no AC. Mid way through our travels we always stopped in a small town to stretch our legs, fill up the car with gas and eat a snack. That town had a book store and that book store sold “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories, where you are the star of the story. 

As the reader, you got to choose at the end of each chapter what the story did next and then skip to that section of the book to find out what happens based on your choice. It was so much fun getting to participate in the outcome and not just being stuck reading a story without any input.

Making choices was thrilling. Part of the excitement as children growing up is that one day we get to start making our own independent decisions. We empower our children by letting them choose one of two options in an effort to help guide them. But then we grow up and many times want to run from the very responsibility. 

I was talking with a friend the other day who was struggling to make a decision about something important in her life. “I wish I did not have to make a decision for myself. I wish someone else would choose for me,” she said

I have heard that said before by others and I’m pretty sure that I have said that in the past as well. It is becuase at times we feel overwhelmed with the amount of choices and decisions we are faced with throughout our lives.

But the power of choice and taking ownership of our path is the most thrilling and critical part of our achievements in life. 

If life was completely destined and our choices did not matter, life would lose meaning. If we only took a reactive path, our life would feel boring and pointless. Part of what makes us unique is our ability to choose. Part of what helps people survive and not give up is our ability decide who, what, where, when and why. So why would any of us want to give that up? 

Because it feels hard. 

We are emotional creatures and our choices effect other people around us. It feels hard to make a choice that may emotionally hurt another person. It also feels hard to make a decision that could possibly cause ourselves to feel pain. It feels hard when we can’t accurately predict the future or total outcome. Making our own choices means taking risks and taking an adventure to an unknown destination. 

If we were to let go of the opportunity to choose and give up that adventure, allowing others to make our decisions for us, then what’s the point? 

Sometimes it feels easier to wish and hope for a sign of what to do, but they won’t always come. I once prayed for someone to show up at my front door and hand me the manual to my life, telling me exactly how to fix something. But then, would I really be living? 

Getting the answers handed to you essentially ends the adventure of your life and you would lose your desire to build and thrive over time. Instead, the inevitable default would be that life become a reaction field of victimhood and confusion. 

By making choices, we claim the drivers seat in the car of our lives. We live empowered and free. So, how can we make this process of making important decisions feel a little less hard? 

First, try to indicate whether this choice has to be governed by your mind or your heart.

Even if you consider yourself someone who is guided more by one or the other, you cannot let both of them take priority at the same time. The mind/heart clash is part of the struggle in the first place. To take that challenge off your plate the first action is to chose mind or heart. (You can use both to guide you, but one has to take the lead.) 

Next, try writing down a list:

  • Your ultimate Goal related to this choice 
  • Your Top 3 priorities in life now 
  • Your Top 3 priorities in life future 
  • Your Top 2 obstacles 
  • What you’re afraid of 
  • Your emotions (i.e. Confused, worried, challenged, sad, etc.) 

After you create your list, evaluate it. What does the list tell you? Does it help you move in one direction over another? Were you honest? Did you write down what you really feel or think you should feel? It might take you a few tries. 

If you are still struggling after your list, I recommend a personal role-play or daydream, if you will. Play out the situation 2 different ways, not in your head, but out-loud verbally and write it down. What does the cause and effect scenario look like visually? How does it sound? How do others react? How does it make you feel? Do you like it? Where do you end up? 

Communication is not just an important skill set with others. You communicate with yourself  24/7, consciously and unconsciously. How do you communicate with yourself? Is your tone typically negative and pessimistic? Encouraging and supportive? Worried and stressed? 

Talking, writing and drawing yourself through various feelings and obstacles can help you get out from feeling stuck and back on the road to making key choices that will get you closer to the life of your dreams. 

But, regret. 

Ah, the fear and worry of regret is often what keeps us in a state of paralysis when needing to make an important choice. 

But what if the biggest regret of your life ended up not being because of a choice you made, but rather from your inability to make choices along the way. Letting fear and worry win. 

Non action, while it could technically can be considered a choice, is really you just sitting idly by, letting the world around you effect your life over and over. 

Make a choice. Be bold and courageous. Be adventurous. I’m not saying you have to live a wild life. Life can be adventurous and simple at the same time. It just has to be yours. You have to own it. You GET to own it though a series of choices. You get to be the star in the story of you.

 
May 10th, 2017 | Katya Lerner
Buzzword Consulting

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