The Dirty Truth About Social Media Marketing

Social Media Content
Social Media Strategy
Social Media Insights

For starters, no one in advertising likes social media marketing. At least, not the “traditionalists”. They seem to think of it as a sticky, smelly, unpleasant thing pushed out of a dog that gets stuck to the bottom of their shoe. It’s the “poor man’s” advertising. The channel that everyone and their nan can’t get enough of, but really it’s just a big car crash of crap. Like Love Island.

In traditional advertising circles, it’s either print or OOH. No one wants to be seen touching social media.


Because social media marketing is a dirty business.

It’s not glamorous.

And it’s nowhere near as expensive.

And if advertising has taught us anything down the years, it’s that expensive means the best. 

Yeah, but… No.

Let’s shed some new light on this fallacy.

Dark Advertising

Ever heard of Dark Social? Don’t confuse it with the Dark Web. It’s totally different and not as nefarious as its name sounds. Dark Social is social sharing on platforms where publishers aren’t able to track who sees their posts.

For instance, you see an ad that you like on the side of a bus, take a photo and ping it to your advertising Facebook group, or WhatsApp group, or via email. The advertiser can’t track who’s seen the ad, or how many people have seen the ad, or indeed how many of those have taken action as a result of seeing the ad. They’re in the Dark.

Likewise, if the advertiser posts on social media and someone shares it in the same way (keeping them in the Dark), as much as they’d like to track engagement, views, conversions, they can’t. Well, they can, but not for those Dark Social shares.

Anyway, the point is, that traditional print and OOH advertising depends more on social media than advertisers care to believe.

A print ad (apart from being really damn expensive) will only be seen by a limited readership. And there’s no way of tracking how many people have seen it or done anything as a result (unless you use offer codes as a way to track and segment people who take action).

Same goes for a billboard.

However, what if someone really takes a shine to your work and pings it on social media?

All of a sudden you have a potentially massive audience. For free.

And just like that, social media has added immeasurable value to your campaign.

Whether it’s shared openly, tagging the brand and developing a conversation around the ad, or whether it’s proliferated across Dark Social. Social media just amplified your messaging.

Not so much of a turd now is it?

Doing the Dirty Work 

Ok, so we know that social media marketing provides us with all the data we could possibly want to track the impact and success of our campaigns. And sure, some of it gets lost along the way. But you get a far better picture of campaign performance on social media than you do in non-digital marketing.


So what’s with all the ill-feeling?

Why do people skirt around social media marketers as though they’re covered in syphilitic sores, oozing pus, spitting blood, and haven’t seen a shower in years?

Because no one likes doing the dirty work.

Firstly, there’s the social media audit (you can get a free social media audit template here if you want to do the dirty work yourself). It takes time to get your social together. Especially if it wasn’t set up properly in the first place.

No one likes sifting through every profile to check that it’s on-brand, who has access to it, what its purpose is, what its goals/TOV/strategy is.

It’s painstaking work.

Not as fun as coming up with poster ideas.

Then there’s updating and maintaining all the bios. As well as establishing, tracking, and evaluating performance metrics for each channel. 

Of course, there’s also the tricky business of figuring out what to post and the best time to post on social media. Planning and scheduling ahead of time in order to maintain an active “social” presence is all part and parcel of social media management.

The trouble is, for most businesses, there’s never enough time. Which often results in them making the Big 7 social media marketing mistakes.

It’s dirty grunt work. And no one wants to do it. Even though it yields actual, measurable results.

Which is why we do the dirty work. So you don’t have to.

We’d much rather hide away in the background and let you get all the plaudits and recognition. Because, after all, it’s your business we’re marketing.

The spotlight should be on you.