I never thought social media would “work” (and that was dumb)

My wife captures beautiful moments on camera for young families.

social media works photo

And over the weekend we were chatting about how to make more time for her to book photography sessions now that our youngest is out of the scream-bloody-murder-when-mommy-leaves-the-room phase.

Along with that, we’re giving her website an upgrade and she’s starting to play around with using her Instagram account to do a bit of marketing.

That’s when I sent her this video:

Partly because my opinions on social media marketing have changed pretty significantly over the last 6-12 months (more on this in a moment).

But mostly because I know she finds Mr. Vaynerchuk obnoxious, and attempting to elicit that furrowed brow, “you idiot” look is one of the many creative ways I choose to entertain myself on Saturday evenings.

Reaction 1: “Seriously? When do you think I would have time to watch this?”

Fair enough.

I explain the $1.80 Strategy he outlines (give your “2 cents” by commenting on photos posted by others in your community 90 times per day).

Reaction 2: “Seriously? When do you think I would have time to do this?”

That used to be my reaction too.

In fact, at one point, in my blindness to anything outside of email-funnel-driven direct response lead generation, I always thought “organic” social media marketing was, for the most part, B.S.

I mean, I wasn’t totally blind… I saw people supposedly doing well with it.

But I had never worked with anyone who was able to generate any real traction, so I just assumed it was either luck or reserved for some small segment of relatively famous people who built their following through some other means.

Until I started looking at what people were actually doing while they were in the “audience building” phase.

And I realized that I was studying the wrong things.

As in: I was looking for the strategy and tactics behind great content, building an audience, and gaming the system for views and impressions, paired with some sort of amazing call to action.

This was the wrong vantage point.

The right vantage point is the frame I outlined yesterday… that all of the best strategy in the world can do no good when patience, consistency, and focus are not in play. This is what Garyvee is actually saying.

People who find success on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn end up where they are not by engineering the perfect post, commenting system, or “influencer marketing” strategy.

But by giving themselves more opportunities to land on that “perfect post” than everyone else.

Sure there are those folks out there beating their heads against the wall, day after day, with no traction whatsoever.

They have a different problem.

They need to pick their head up from monitoring the cracks in the sidewalk and take a look around. They actually do need a bit of re-evaluation of strategy.

But for those of you who have a decent grasp of what your target audience is interested in, and who you need to reach… I believe all you need is a basic understanding of the mechanics and the strategy behind using a platform like LinkedIn to start creating a path for those folks to find their way back to you in some form or fashion.

From that point on, I will read you again the synopsis from yesterday:

Patience, focus, and consistency.

The point: I’ve changed my tune. Successful “platform” marketing requires taking off the “reverse engineering” hat, and putting on the “human, social, go-to-work-everyday” hat.

Who knew using social media would actually require you to be social?

To wrap up…

In the interest of keeping my marriage in good standing, I’ll go ahead and complete the “compliment sandwich” here and say:

My wife is going to be successful with this regardless. She has a great network within our community, and her work spreads itself pretty effectively through word of mouth.

But for the rest of that who don’t have that in place…

Or who have bigger aspirations of scaling beyond the “all the biz dev flows through the principal” phase…

This perspective is one that may be worth trying on.

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