“Cool! A women after my own heart.” I said to myself.

And then of course I had to give her the bad news.

First of all, there are rules and then there are rules. The old saying that “rules are meant to be broken” is still valid, if (big IF) you are Uber, or SquareUp, or airbnb. They are not only breaking the rules by starting whole new ways of thinking, they have set New Rules of on-line commerce and consumer behaviors.

But they still have rules. Companies like Uber Meals (just heard about them today!), or Kickstarter, or Casper Beds, get sales by relying on the same basic marketing standards and the rules are pretty lock-step. They all follow the same path: Figure out who will likely want your product or service and find out where they hang-out and get your brand in front of them as much as possible. I make that sound so easy, right?

Racking up the hours to keep it simple for you

I spend, on average, five hours a week just learning about marketing – the technology, the philosophy, and the best practices. I am on more than a dozen email lists from marketing gurus that I follow. I mostly enjoy my research, but I am always kicking and screaming when I go to apply the information. I want to do it “My Way” (and the cheapest way) and I totally want work miracles every time. Sound familiar?

So when I finally stop and think about what to post on my Facebook pages (yes, I have two that I am trying to stay active on), I cringe. And my two twitter accounts are often ignored altogether. So when my client just flat-out said she had never used Facebook in her life and didn’t want to use social media, I wanted to cheer her on!

Reality check

We all hate playing by the rules, but as I told my client, “a Facebook “business” page is not an option”. It’s not something you can avoid. You might not want to invest a lot of time and certainly want to be very stingy when considering paying for ads or boosting posts, but you need to have a presence there. And getting more people to like your page can’t hurt. “So”, I said, “get yourself a page and start getting “likes”.”

I went on and on about how those extra steps bring you into other networks of people you don’t even know and, what the heck, they may share with someone who will share and so on and so on. I finished my Skype call saying something like, “And you never know, you might get a new client or prospect from a total stranger sharing with a total stranger.”

As I heard myself say that, I thought… “whoa, is that really going to happen very often?” As I ended the Skype session, I wondered if my guru teams ever blogged about this magical marketing madness.

What do the Big Dogs do with their social media? Some of my favs are from Copy Blogger, Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers, Marie Forleo, The Copy Cure (run by Marie Forleo), and my favorite: Seth Godin. So off I went to check out the status of my online marketing heroes.

I was shocked by their across-the-board marketing strategy

I went to my email inbox first and looked at recent emails with the intention of heading over to their social sites. I started with Copy Blogger. There were no links to social media in their emails.

Whaaa? Huh? I checked others. Same result. The only exception was Seth – his is a pure blogging feed.

I clicked on a link in Copy Blogger’s email to go to their website and I searched and searched and there is no social media linking anywhere. The ONLY place where they put any SM links is in their blog posts. That’s it.

But the most shocking website that was “disconnected” was Marie Forleo and her subsidiary site the Copy Cure. It’s all about email list growing for ALL these big wigs. Nothing in footers, nothing in side-bar spaces, nothing until you were on a specific blog post. Derek was the only exception with a very camouflaged area in his footer. No icons. Just the words in 8pt font. No call to action. No emphasis at all.

If you don’t know any of these names, just know that these are major movers and shakers in the online marketing fields. For example Seth Godin is credited with coining the phrase Permission Marketing aka, email marketing and other permission-based targeted online marketing. A superior lecturer, his talk on marketing is one of the top ten most listened to at Ted Talks. Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages. Okay – here’s the link to his site. Go and find some social media links.

But hurry back….

Did you find the social media links on his site?

Once again, the social media links are only found on his blog posts and don’t require you to leave his page. He is not looking for likes!

So I started giving this deep thought. Why would Marie Forleo, who is chummy with many top celebrities  – including Oprah – and who is the creator of “B-School” – that costs $2000 to attend online – not use any social media on her site? Zero. I really searched everywhere. And finally – I clicked on a blog post to read it and the most unobtrusive black and white bar slid in from the left side of the screen. Wow. She had over 3K in FB shares on this one post. But I still haven’t figured out how to like her page from her site.

And how is it possible that Derek Halpern, who has nearly a half a million people on his email list and over 6 million visits to his site, doesn’t seem to really care about social media at all. He barely has any links on his blogs. He’s been quoted or had articles written about him in Forbes, INC., Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post. He preaches (rants actually) that emails are your center of power and he is practicing what he preaches. (Now you know where I keep getting my passion for emails from – all these guru’s push this exact message!)

None of these sites want you to go away and “like” them somewhere else. This makes my “Golden Triangle of Success” an even more valuable and totally credible strategy!

To be totally clear, all these gurus have Facebook pages and other social media sites (that are run by assistants or interns most likely) and have lots of likes and followers. They are not ignoring those outlets. They obviously let that all happen more organically and are not pushing people to Like or Follow.

All that said….

We – you and me – need a Facebook page and we do need to be a bit pushy. We are mere mortals. We need the chance of more eyes seeing us. I can’t believe I am saying this, but …it can’t hurt to get active with Facebook. And…well….I did make two sales yesterday thanks to a new “feature” I just got going on my The E’s of Selling Art at Art Festivals and Fine Craft Events Facebook site. Who knows if I will get another sale anytime soon, but a sale is a sale, right?

And if it is appropriate, you can look into other social media outlets, too. I only can handle FB and Twitter. Your mileage may vary. Just keep your priorities straight. Keep on building that email list. If you don’t have the time, energy, or the right skill set to do your own email marketing – Minimum One Email Every Month! – farm that job out. I am just one possible person you can hire. It’s not rocket science. It’s just staying in touch. I could teach you how to create instant content or read this post: Hitting Brick Walls is Over! Five Tips for Easy Content Creation.

However, the most important thing you can possibly do is STAY IN TOUCH. Clearly, all the experts I have named in this post have made emails the priority. They know, like I always say, that you cannot stay “in touch” using social media sites.

The Fine Line

I am going to do more research, but my guess is that the reason you can’t be lured to leave the pages of these top-notch marketing sites to go hang-out on some social media site is because of the loss of controlling the exit. For most of their sites pages, there is no reason to distract you and never a good reason to send you away. However, when you are on their blog post, that is a source of information – like I hope this blog post is also. At that point, they are happy to see you “share” and so they offer those share bars and links.

But it is REALLY important and noteworthy to realize that they do NOT ask you to like, follow, or otherwise do anything distracting you from staying on their sites as long as possible.

Yep…I will be rethinking my strategies (again!)

I know I have encouraged you to go follow these other sites, but please stick around my site, too. I still have plenty to share! If you only want to pick one, flip a coin between Seth Godin and Derek Halpern. They are polar opposites in style but total brothers in message.

If you are on my list, I will keep you posted on the release of my next blog post: all about pop-ups. Love ’em, hate ’em, but can you benefit from them? Anyone have any stories to share about using pop-ups on your site?

Please share my post (the share bar is on this page! LOL!) and please share your thoughts. I always love your comments!