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The Curious Link Between Social Media & Chain Music

Social Media Marketing Consulting
The Curious Link Between Chain Music and Social Media

I am a self-confessed Hip-Hop head.  I reached my Hip Hop heyday in the 90’s with groups such as Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde and De La Soul.  This form of Hip Hop was called “conscious” rap because of the content, thought and movement that was a product of the music of the time.  Studio Gangsta Rappers were shunned and your rep was based on the music you produced, not a marketing campaign.  As a 42-year-old Social Media Marketing Consultant I struggle to stay true to my Hip Hop roots, or move on to Classic Jazz?  I can not relate to today’s version of Hip Hop “Chain Music”.  No content, no point, just a catchy heavy base beat and a gold chain.

When you look at the current Digital Marketing landscape……one could say it’s gone the way of “Chain Music”! Social Media is  “en vogue” so companies jumped in flooding timelines with shameless sales plugs and pitches.  Forbes Magazine wrote about the importance of Social Media for Small Business as far back as 2011.  Over that span of time the Social Media Marketing Industry has changed immensely.  It was the connection that was important…….an online interaction that creates an in person engagement.  With the introduction of Facebook Ads and other products, you can pay for Likes and Followers.   It’s no longer about building an organic online community, it’s about paying to get into the timelines of the masses.  Social Media has gone the way of the Google Search Consultant…”but you have 50,000 impressions!”  When numbers become the game in Social Media, failure is imminent.  When there is no true content, people will eventually learn the truth.  There are those Social Media Marketing Consultants and Agencies that get it right.  They realize that just setting up an “Enter to Win an iPad” link  isn’t true traffic.  When I see companies and marketing consultants that get it right, I remain hopeful for our industry.  Despite all the filters that keep  your message out of timelines unless you pay to play……..we can still be heard if you have the rigtht content, the right message and the right audience.

Just as my hope in the Social Media Marketing industry is renewed from time to time, my hope in Hip Hop is renewed when I hear song’s like  Wale’s “Chain Music”. Wale is a Washington D.C. Metro area native and has been on the scene for years but he didn’t receive the national recognition he deserved until he inked a deal with MMG.  Although Wale’s message hasn’t changed, his delivery has……a line from Chain Music states, “tried to give you light and a message, but you’d rather have some VVS’ (diamonds).  He realized that the culture of the Chain Music era is a necessary evil, just as Social Media is a necessary evil for businesses.  If there is no engagement, no connection, no information exchange……..Social Media Marketers may as well trade their corporate suits in  for gold chains.

Juan De Cruz, Jr.

Social Media Marketing, SEO/SEM, e-Mail Marketing Consulting

(240) 479-0082

Social Media Uses

Guru’s, Wizards and Experts (Who can you trust to handle your Social Media)

When I decided to branch out on my own to become an independent Social Media Marketing Consultant for small businesses, I noticed that I was just one of thousands, maybe millions of people doing the same thing.  I browsed individuals titles in different LinkedIn groups and profiles, I even scoured Craigslist and other forums to view the competition.  I was amazed at all of the creative titles which included Social Media Guru, Expert, Specialist, King Queen etc.!  I got so confused, with all of the mentions of Wizards, Guru’s and Warlocks…..I wasn’t sure if I was reading a Harry Potter series or an offer of Social Media Marketing services.  By the amazing things that people promised, I was expecting Professor Dumbeldore, Harry or the one we do not speak of (Voldemort) to materialize to run Social Media Marketing Campaigns. While we mere mortals sit back and await the magic to spill down from Hogwart’s….the Wizards and Gurus form a special Social Media Marketing Strategy!

The truth is, there are no Wizards, Gurus or Experts.  The reason being, Social Media is ever-changing.  It originally shaped our personal communication and now we have seen how it has shaped the way we do business.  As small business owners, and large companies for that matter, scramble to form a voice via Social Media, they are met with empty promises!  If you are looking to contract someone who says they know all there is to know about Social Media…….in the words of Ghost Face Killah…..”Run”! Social Media is an ever-moving target, there is no plateau, just a consistent climb.  just because someone can construct a Fan Page doesn’t mean they are an Expert.

Misconception Number 1 

“People think if you build it they will come!” @JemekaShamae

This has to be one of the greatest misconceptions.  Social Media Marketers will contract their services to build a Social network, but they don’t advise their clients on how to increase traffic, how to track what posts are effective and how to maintain a constant online presence.  “You have to take time to develop your content and voice!” –Jarvis Holliday If not you’ll have a Social Media network no followers and a look of….”what now?”

Misconception Number 2

“Whoomp there it is!”

Some fraudulent Social Media Marketers lead their clients to believe they will see instant results.  The truth is, you have to develop content, you have to engage your followers and listen to your followers prior to dumping your marketing campaign on them. Think of Social Media just like a friendship, it takes time to develop trust and a connection.  You wouldn’t barge in on a new friend and ask for money.

Misconception Number 3

“It is what it is!”

So many people think that the world of Social Media is just a malaise of Likes, Retweets, Fans and Followers.  They fill as if they just post random thoughts that they will increase their following.  The truth is a real Social Media Marketing strategy is far more cerebral than that.  There is software out there that helps to measure the effectiveness of your content, the click-through rate to your website and also the conversion rate of page views to likes.  If your Social Media Marketer isn’t offering these services then you really need to explore your professional relationship.

The Marketing Cycle for Social Media is longer than that of standard marketing campaigns.  It can be compared to Transactional versus Relationship sales.  As you search for a Social Media Marketing Consultant, be sure they are not promising you the world…..and just  giving you Hogwarts School of Magic!

Juan De Cruz, Jr.


Social Media Uses

Hey Young World, The World Is Yours!

If  you are in your 30’s like myself, you may have thought back to the late 80’s hit by Slick Rick, “Hey Young World“!  Just as the memory of that song brought about the melodic chorus to your mind’s ear, the use of Social Media is music to the ears of those who are truly engaged and realize the scope and power of Social Media.

I have been in the field of Marketing since 2002, in that time there have been numerous changes in the field.  I secured a position at a Marketing/Customer Acquisition Firm in Charlotte, NC.  I was impressed by the cerebral approach they took to marketing.  The main goal was lead generation which was done through a marketing mix of internet lead gen, SEO,  print and media.  We analyzed the most insignificant factors to see how they would effect our Marketing efforts.  We were a cutting edge firm that prided ourselves on staying ahead of the competiton beccause we were always prepared.

I was promoted to the positon of Regional Marketing and Sales Director for the Southern California Region.  I ran up and down the coast, creating promotions and coming up with ideas for successful Marketing strategies for our clients.  With the backing of my home office and their marketing research data, I felt there was no way I could go wrong.  2008, enter the drop in the economy, the uncertainty of the direction of the new leadership of our country coupled with rampant job loss and you had an environment where if your industry was dependent on consumer purchasing habits there was a level of uncertainty. Marketing campaigns were not as succesful, leads decreased and in the end I was laid off.

As I started applying for jobs, I realized that the Marketing field changed.  While I was a Regional Rep, I used Facebook to keep others updated on where my day to day travels took me, the crazy people I would meet while on the road and the occasional GPS malfunctions that would have me wandering all over California.  I noticed that companies were using Facebook to market products, field complaints or suggestion from customers and also lead focus groups.  Although I had a Twitter account I barely used it because I didn’t know how to say I felt Twitter was a breeding ground for ego-maniacs in 140 Characters. Now almost every major company has a Twitter account.  I created a Linkedin account for networking purposes, but I never really used it to it’s fullest, now 48% of HR recruiters search Linkedin prior tpo viewing a job board. (Me 2.0, Dan Schawbel)

Social Media has and cotimues to reshape the way society communicates, socializes, stays informed and also shops.  Facebook can no longer be dismissed as a young peoples fad, Twitter has turned into a job board, Linkedin “IS” your resume now.  Social Media Marketing firms like Social Living and Groupon have placed small businesses on the same playing field as large companies, so much so prior to creating their own Social Media Discount division Google Offers, Google offered to purchase Groupon for $6 Billion dollars and was declined. So there’s no future in Social Media huh? Facebook aided in a political revolution! Since 2008 Groupon has seen drastic growth there are in 500 markets in 44 countries!

When you master the art of Social Media, the world is yours, there’s no limit to the things you can accomplish. So join me on this journey as I keep you informed on the new trends, how to brand yourself through the use of Social Media and give you a behind the scenes look at how I use Social Media in my daily life.  Welcome to the journey!

Juan De Cruz, Jr.