Why you should ignore what GM and Chris Brogan do online

I saw this morning that Chris Brogan, one of the social media world’s A-listers and guiding lights, has closed his LinkedIn account, which included more than 16,000 contacts and 143 recommendations. Many of us would kill for a network that big and that strong, but apparently it wasn’t working for him.

LinkedIn logo

Last week, GM made headlines when it announced, just days before Facebook’s IPO, that it was canceling its $10 million ad spend with the social network. It wasn’t getting the return it needed apparently. Others have also criticized Facebook’s ads (Ryan Holliday of American Apparel, for example).

Does this mean you should dump LinkedIn? Maybe cancel all your Facebook ads?

Unless your Chris Brogan or GM, these incidents don’t mean anything. Play your game, not someone else’s game.

Easy to say, right? But the question is, how do you actually do that? Are we never supposed to pay attention to what others are doing? Are there never lessons there? Fair enough.

Here’s how you play your own game.

1. Know what your goals are.

2. Know how your going to measure those goals and what metrics are going to account along the way. (For anything online, report bottom-line measurements to the boss, but you’ll need to measure other things to actually move toward those sales-and-profit-oriented objectives.)

3. Start doing stuff to try to move those metrics in the right direction. Yes, should look at case studies, listen to the experts and evaluate your options based on your own experience. In other words, take your best guess. But you won’t know what will work and how well until you actually do something.

4. Once you start doing stuff, per step 3, then you can figure out what’s working (and try to make it work better) and figure out what’s not working (and fix it or stop it).

Rinse and repeat.

It’s really not that hard.

So, a giant car maker dropping Facebook ads and a social media A-lister dropping LinkedIn is interesting. But it has nothing to do with your marketing efforts.

Do you disagree? How are you evaluating your digital marketing efforts? Please leave a comment below.

 P.S. I need to say that I think Chris Brogan is a smart guy and I think he’s right about 90 percent of the time when it comes to social media. But my point stands: Listen to what he says and think about it means to your business, but don’t blindly mimic him, or GM or anyone else.

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