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Why Social Media is Not Marketing

I’ve read a ton of blogs and forum posts discussing marketing of TPT stores. Understandably, TPT sellers want to know how they can help their store make more money. But friends, TpT sellers have an unhealthy obsession with social media.

The problem is, almost all of the discussion I see regarding marketing is discussion about whether Pinterest is “worth it” anymore, and how to get more followers on various social media platforms.

Shockingly, many articles and advice use the words “marketing” and “social media” as if they are actually the same word.

Friends, using social media on its own is not marketing. Marketing requires a strategy – more than just posting links to your products a few times a day. Advertising should only be one small piece of the puzzle that we call your marketing plan.

Oh gosh, friends, I get it. There are ASPECTS of social media that can actually help you sell your products. But if you are relying on social media as your whole marketing strategy then you are not only missing a huge piece of the puzzle, you also risk being in big trouble when those dreaded algorithm changes happen.

I can’t say this enough times: You don’t own your social media audience.

You. 👏🏻 Don’t. 👏🏻 Own. 👏🏻 It. 👏🏻

Facebook could decide tomorrow to only show your page posts to a small fraction of your audience… (OH WAIT, THEY ALREADY DID THAT.)

Every social media platform does this. Here’s the pattern:

  1. They make it super easy to market to your business for free. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon.
  2. They offer “special business tools” to encourage you to designate your account as being for business. Now they know exactly who is trying to make money using their platform.
  3. You generate a ton of free content for THEIR platform as you build your audience.
  4. Now that they’ve hooked you and tricked you into telling them you’re using their platform for business, they start making it more difficult for you to reach your audience unless…. wait for it… you BUY ADS.
  5. You pay through the nose to reach the audience you built for free.

Facebook did this. Pinterest is in the process of doing it.

Every. Single. Platform. Wants. Your. Ad. Money.

I’m not saying that you can’t make social media work for your business. But you need to understand what a social media platform’s main goal is (spoiler alert: it’s money) and if you’re whole marketing plan is based on their platforms, you’re either going to end up disappointed or end up paying through the nose to reach the audience you spent so much time building.

It’s time to stop putting all your eggs in the social media basket.

  1. Stop worrying about vanity metrics. Followers don’t pay the bills. Likes don’t mean sales.
  2. Stop giving your social media as much attention as the sale. I’ve actually seen sellers who have put all their social media links at the top of their product descriptions. At the TOP. Like, above all the info about the actual product. Would you rather have a new follower, or a product sale?
  3. Build up marketing assets that YOU OWN. Gathering your own email list is far more valuable to you than followers on a third party website.