Four options to transcend the social media clutter. Pick one and do the work. | Schaefer Marketing Solutions

By Mark Schaefer

My friend Amanda Ricks left a thought-provoking comment on my blog the other day. I had written about the necessity to provide quality content over time as the only sustainable strategy to rise above the social media clutter.

She challenged me, contending that there are a number of social media gurus out there over-posting tons of useless crap and they seem to be rewarded for it. How can this be explained?

A good question, and here is my answer.

The four ways to stand out

1. SEO

2. Authority

3. Entertaining

4. Fame

There are two ways to become famous — The old fashioned way by being a movie star, best-selling author, or elite athlete, and the new media way that involves a combination of content, reach, and social proof. This is where it gets interesting, and this is the category that is causing Amanda’s concern.

Fake fame

But many people still do it. Last year, The New York Times published an explosive piece showing how many influencers had faked their way to fame. Some have demonstrated that you can create entirely fake personas who can earn the attention of brands. Several social media gurus have faked Twitter accounts that would compliment them around the web.

When I entered this space 10 years ago I marveled at this manufactured authority. How did these folks maintain an audience without really producing anything of value? My theory is there is a constant churn of new people who see them as authorities because they are on influencer lists and 2) even people who have figured them out still follow them because they’re afraid not to.

Perhaps Amanda falls into this category. She sees fake leaders at the top of the social media marketing field but follows them any way. It sort of becomes a habit I suppose.

Staying centered

It’s hard to keep focused on the hard work of being consistent, relevant, and superior in your niche, but there really is no shortcut. Whether you choose to win at SEO, authority, entertainment, or fame, you have to do the work.

I want to offer some encouragement to all of those working so hard but feeling some how diminished by the fakes who have manufactured their web presence.

There’s no way you can fake it and earn true fans. The fakers may be surrounded by purchased followers and sycophants, but they don’t have true fans who will help them accomplish their goals.

When you earn true fans, your “marketing” can stop because you’ll have other people telling your story, sharing your content, and recommending you for business opportunities. That is the goal, that is the gold. In the long run, it will pay off.

Stay centered, stay positive, do the work.

Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for {grow}, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy of Unsplash.com

All posts

Originally published at businessesgrow.com on December 3, 2018.

Keynote speaker, strategy consultant, Rutgers University marketing faculty and author of 9 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Cumulative Advantage.