Remove your hands from the keyboard and step away from your computer, slowly.

It’s time we kill social media, especially if you’re using social media as a sales tool or prospecting technique.

Forget it.

It’s not working for one very reason — you’re using the term “social media.”

Social media is what kids use to tell the world why they do or don’t like somebody; it’s what people use to share with others stupid photos nobody wants to see.  Let’s get real. Do you think this is really going to generate business for you?  It’s not.

It’s time we kill the term “social media” and replace it with “business marketing.”

The reason is very simple. Internet platforms are very effective for generating business with both existing and new customers.  In my own business, I’ve been using these tools for years and I generate a tremendous amount of new business from them.

If we think in terms of developing a business marketing strategy, we’re going to be far more effective in building our business rather than thinking of building a social media strategy.

If we look to first develop our overall strategy before determining what tools to use, we’re going to be far more effective.  The problem with social media is it is merely a whole group of people running from one neat software tool to another one.

Remember MySpace?  If you jumped on that one you might say things sure didn’t work out well for you.  What about Plaxo and dozens of other second-tier networking tools — same thing.  Your first rule is don’t use a networking tool just because it’s there.

Develop your business marketing strategy first by asking yourself the following questions:

1. What do I expect to accomplish with a business marketing strategy?

2. What are my goals?

3. How will I know when I achieve them?

4. Who are the people who I need to have on my team to assist me?

5. Who is the audience I’m trying to reach?

6. Are my prospects a tightly defined group or is it wide and dispersed?

7. How does a business marketing strategy fit into my overall business plan?

8. What are the areas in my business that may complement the execution of a business marketing plan?

9. What are the intermediate goals I can establish that will help me evaluate progress?

10. Does my business marketing strategy have a return on investment?  What is it and how will it be measured?

Only after you have answered each of these questions can you then begin to determine what internet platforms you should be using.

The benefit of this strategy is you’ll find you will use your time more effectively and you’ll be far less likely to ask yourself why you’re spending time on any type of internet platform, whether it be your own blog, Linkedin, Twitter, or anything else.

The other major advantage of this approach is it will also prevent you from doing the most fatal mistake anyone can do and that is simply hire someone because they say they’re a social media guru and they’ll help drive you to the top of Google rankings.

Remember one thing — anyone who calls themselves a guru is anything but a guru.  The internet world changes too rapidly for anyone to sit there and proclaim they’re an expert.

Kill “social media” and get to “business marketing.”

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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