Note: This piece is opinion and you may or may not agree with the points raised.
Several genealogists have questioned the value of social media as a means of getting business for themselves. Does it work? Is it worthwhile to do constant social marketing? I answer, no, not really. Social marketing only turns us into social butterflies flitting from one thing to the next, searching for relevance. That doesn’t mean that with a little focus, we can’t be more effective in our own patches.
We all have our own niches where we are relevant and effective. Where are we most useful in the largest scheme of things? At home in our own patches. Where is your patch? It might be New England, the Pacific Northwest, the Deep South, or elsewhere. This answers the question of using social media effectively in one respect: locality.
Do we have always to go outside of our own patch to find clients and customers? No. The thing is, we need to focus on what we know and keep it up at a level and longevity that makes sense for us. The simple answer is that clients will come to us, looking for us; we don’t have to go to them anymore. That’s the value of the Internet. Push marketing is outdated. Pull marketing is the way things are now.
What attracts clients in the first place? Pull marketing. Pull marketing is the goodwill we generate in our own niche markets. Do you have an effective website? Do you focus on what you know in your area? Are these items present in your marketing online? Speaking of which, this is what social marketers (all of us, really) need to focus on, not plugging something from someone else; that’s giving away your time for no or little gain. Focus on your own gain, in your own market niche and you’ll be fine.
Does that mean that you can’t market outside of your niche market? No, but does the effectiveness of such marketing show? Not really; especially if there’s no response at all most of the time, which is what you’ll find when you do venture in that direction. It’s just less effective in the long-term and in the short-term a waste of time.
The majority of social marketing we do, plugging, liking, and linking to products is all that we can do. It’s socializing with others, seeking their approval and approving things we like. As far as I’m concerned, this sort of marketing is not business marketing, but marketing others’ products for them. It’s a time-consuming effort to constantly do such things and because of the low return on investment of your time, worthless.
Just focus on the who, what, where, when, and how of what you specialize in and you will be more effective in getting clients.
© 2012 N. P. Maling – Sea Genes Family History & Genealogy Research