The one where I rant about Marketing

So, I’m sitting in a conference virtual session this morning, and I’m listening to a woman spew absolute bullshit about marketing that is infuriating.

The ticket to this conference costs $500. My work is paying $500 for me to be at this conference, and they’re also still paying my salary while I’m not ‘in the office’ doing office things for the next two days, which is another bunch of money. So, we’re invested.

The lesson this woman is teaching: to grow online, follow as many people as you possibly can, wait a few days and then unfollow anyone who didn’t follow you back.

This isn’t marketing. This is fucking stupid. Don’t do this, people. Don’t play the ‘how many people can follow me back’ game. Just don’t do it. We’re not in high school. We’re not trying to get people to sit with us at lunch. Marketing is about real-world engagement. I know people typically roll their eyes at me when I tell them that, but it’s true.

The goal with marketing is not to get 100,000 followers. Sure, 100,000 followers sounds great in theory, but if 99,600 of them don’t give a rats ass about what you’re doing, then what’s the point in them following you? The goal is to find people who resonate with your content, your products or what you’re trying to share. If you run a small store that sells candles, you want people who like to buy candles following you. If people don’t buy candles but they follow you, they’re not contributing to you, your business or your marketing efforts. If you run a blog about parenting, you want moms and dads to follow you. If people following you are 16 year old kids who don’t read your content, or even remotely pay attention to your blog, you’re essentially speaking into the void. Marketing is about finding your people, your niche and your space on the internet. Marketing has absolutely nothing to do with quantity of followers, and everything to do with quality of followers.

If you’re good at marketing, it won’t matter if 50 people read your blog or 50,000 people read your blog. They’re all going to pay attention because they care about what you have to say. What’s the point in having 50,000 following you if only 50 of them actually read your blog? There isn’t a point.

Marketing is about appealing to people.

Marketing is about resonating.

Marketing is about creating messaging that matters. Telling a story that’s worthy of being listened to.

Marketing IS NOT adding as many people as you can to try and get them to follow you back to that you can look popular. Looking popular doesn’t translate to real interaction.

If you’re using digital platforms to try and make friends, you don’t need 100,000 friends. You won’t ever have 100,000 friends. So even still, playing ‘how many people can I get to follow me back’ is ridiculous.

Real growth online is slow. It’s calculated. It takes effort. It takes communication. It’s thoughtful. It’s garnering an audience who is exactly who you would wish for your content to reach. If you sell candles, it’s building an audience of candle lovers. If you write about parenting, it’s building an audience of people who care about parenting. It’s not going after the entire population of the planet…

I’m pretty sure this isn’t coherent due to my having been ranting so long. I’m going to end this here.

71 thoughts on “The one where I rant about Marketing

  1. Perfectly coherent and makes sense to me. What that lady is suggesting sounds like a lazy way of doing business and I wouldn’t think very successful in the end. Did anyone else have anything useful to say? I hope someone gives her feedback.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everyone was treating her like she was a digital marketing goddess. I was pissed! You don’t practice business that way. These are businesses listening to her. How is having thousands of followers who don’t pay attention to your feed whatsoever going to help with business? Digital Marketing is a waste of time at that point! That’s such bad business.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. AGREE!
      None of them read anyone else’s work. They just use it to get followers. There’s some who’ve got like 20,000 followers and their engagement is 2-3 per post. Not sure what good that does them.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s ironic because if you publish through traditional channels the first thing they want to know how many followers you have. They need to look at the comments, the repeat engagement, not the number itself. It’s kind of maddening.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s why I rarely leave my blog on writer’s lifts or anything of that nature, especially the ones that say comment for comment. What if I don’t see anything to write a comment about?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I used to think ‘Oh, they’re just trying to get more eyes on their blog. Okay!” Now I see that it’s always the same few people. It’s them just trying to get followers and that they don’t actually are if people pay attention to their content. You’re right – what if you don’t see anything wroth writing a comment about? Why don’t they seem to care when people are writing “Cool” or “Nice post” and clearly not reading or paying even remote attention? It’s such a surface level means of promotion. It’s value-less.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. There was one Facebook blog group I belonged to where the administrator was a real hardass about only posting links one day a week on a particular thread and you had to comment on two posts if you were going to leave a link of your own.

        Problem was, the topics just didn’t interest me.

        Like

  2. Playing that game is dangerous as you can get kicked out of your own accounts for mass following/unfollowing people. I’m surprised people are still playing this petty game to gain attention. This lady clearly doesn’t have a clue how marketing really works. You should have been the one hosting this conference – not her!

    Like

    1. She has her own Communications Firm here in the city.
      If I ever knew of anyone doing business with her, I’d tell them to pull their money soooooooooooooooooo fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is frikken ridiculous and not the way to do business. Not only unprofessional but also reflective of sneaky ass bullshit. Terrible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah.
      The fact that she’s a freaking speaker at a conference is ridiculous to me. She charges businesses money for this advice. This industry needs to weed-out idiots like her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My direct manager is actually at this conference with me. Since it’s virtual, we both decided to do it since we can do it from home. We were texting each other during the presentation saying things like ‘Did she just say that to 1,000 people?’ It was pretty funny.

        Like

  4. My favorite part of this blogging thing? Other than the opportunity to write, the interaction. Finding those like minded folks to communicate with, share thoughts and ideas and grow from that. I have a lot of so called friends on social media but I interact with the same few people all the time. Large numbers mean next to nothing if there is no contact.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bingo! Well said.
    Consultants are sometimes shocked to be reminded—quelle horreur!—you actually have to sell something when you’re marketing.

    Keeping busy is not keeping productive . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right!
      You don’t just get to follow 10,000 people and then unfollow them all and watch the money roll in. Human beings don’t work like that.

      Like

    1. Thank you! Sometimes I think I go too far. But honestly, with her, she needs to get called out. I wrote the conference organizers and told them how disappointed I was they’d be willing to let her promote that bullshit.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That whole ‘follow/unfollow’ tactic is classic MULTI-LEVEL marketing. Ugh. I don’t know if MLM’s a.k.a. lawsuit-riddled legal-ish pyramid schemes are the worst. Don’t even get me started. Are they as much of a problem in Canada as they are stateside? #antimlm ~ Sloane

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh. This is so right. That’s exactly how MLM ‘Boss Bitches’ do things online. Now you’ve got me wondering if she sells an MLM on the side. I better look that up.

      Like

  7. The whole “follow/unfollow” strategy is NOT marketing at all; it’s just plain idiotic. When I had my IG public, I got so many follows and comments (e.g. “Like 4 like,” “Follow 4 follow”) that I got sick of them and ended up making my account private, to be able to filter who gets to follow my IG or not. In a similar scope, I find that I’m quite content with my blog and how it’s been steadily growing over the almost-five years I’ve had it. While I’m not as big as other blogs out there, I’m more-or-less satisfied with the engagement I get every time I publish a post, and I enjoy commenting on and having conversations with bloggers. I’m not in it for the money; I’m in for the parasocial bonds and friendships.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny you use the word Parasocial. I’ve been reading/watching a lot about parasocial relationships lately and how influencers use them to manipulate people. I think they can be a great thing, but like this woman giving shitty advice, there are a lot of people who take advantage of others. You’re absolutely right – follow/unfollow is not marketing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is honestly the best rant I’ve read online. The subject in question, marketing, has never appealed to me until now. Your rant reflects your deep passion about marketing. You know WHY you are into the field of marketing and make all efforts to grow in this space. People who follow you resonate with your words that are thought provoking, raw and real. I am in awe of your confidence and crystal clear thought process that translates into words in your blog posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marketing really changes the way you see and use the internet when you dive into it. Even if you’re not selling anything, having simple conversations with people online is a form of marketing. It’s all about how you use the web! It’s a truly mesmerizing subject when you really dive into it.

      Like

    1. Thank you ❤
      I'm very passionate about marketing and how it can help your goals if you do it properly. It's so important to help people succeed, not set them up for failure like this woman preached yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m with you, quality over quantity. I dislike si much of the racket you are telling us you had to sit through, ugh. So many pariah types out there.I know you have great strategies and ideas so this sounds like torture for you V 😳

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HAHAH! It is, in a sense. It’s torture because I like seeing people succeed. I like seeing people do well and see benefits from their actions. When I hear people spewing bullshit like that as gospel, I just imagine all of the people they’re setting up for failure.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This was a sharp post. That’s the thing about an industry that has more or less seeped into every aspect of our lives over the past 20 years. (Non-professionals) didn’t think about marketing prior to the internet, but these days, the need (or the perceived need) for marketing around even the most mundane aspects of our daily lives has really lowered the bar surrounding the idea of doing a marketing job professionally. Hence you get an obsession with likes, views and follower counts versus the value of a quality/sustained interaction. I used to work in movie marketing – the profusion of “experts” and their bullshit was astounding on a near daily basis. I don’t miss it.

    Like

  11. While what you said absolutely makes sense, isn’t it beneficiary to have a chunk of people following you who might not be interested in your product right now but could be potential customers? I might not like candles but what if I like the candle you are selling. Or they could share it with someone who might be interested. Or is the conversion rate too low to invest time and effort in gathering followers whatever means one uses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you have a potential of liking the candles I sell, being a part of a mass following spree isn’t going to make you more inclined to purchase. After all, I assume you’re smart enough to monitor the trends of pages you do actually have interest or potential interests in, right? If you’re half considering candles you’ll half consider them based on the product not on how many social media followers there are, in my opinion anyway. Please feel free to ignore all of this if you disagree!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is very insightful. Thanks. I stopped trying to grow my instagram because most of followers are lebanese and they mostly ghost follow me and they don’t read my blogs, but the link to my blog site is there for whoever wants. I’m focusing on growing my blog even though it’s free. I don’t know how to convince people to buy my books. Personally I feel discouraged and I don’t have the energy to invest in marketing my books. I try every once in a while but i know i should invest more time and energy in it. The resources are at my fingertips to learn marketing but i don’t know. I keep waiting for things to go back to normal. Maybe i should stop waiting and start doing.

    Like

  13. Very well explained. Marketing is beyond reach/followers. It’s about bringing a set of people together who got same interests and building a business that’s gonna profit both the seller and the buyer.

    Like

  14. Very true. i battle with this at my work place most of the time where I ask my CEO why we chase numbers and forget about the true value of marketing? what happened to sustainable and relationship marketing which are more long term? well put.

    Like

  15. It’s the same concept as a hiring manager asking you to sell them a pen during an interview. It’s absolutely ridiculous – you already have a nice pen, why would I waste my time on you?

    Like

  16. It was a semi-coherent rant. It was justified. Quantity is not a substitute for engagement. Five hundred dollars would have been better spent sending you to The Bahamas instead of listening to such BS.

    Like

  17. I completely agree! I deleted my previous blog for the same reason. All ghost followers, no real people interested in what I was doing, or engaging in any of my content.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s