Why cheap SMM doesn't work, and effective SMM costs so much

- Promotion in social networks does not work.

- Spent money on SMM, but no return.

- Why do we need social media marketing? Links in the groups we will publish ourselves.

Met people with this opinion? These are the victims of black SMM. They really spent time and money on publishing photos of cats and creating fake accounts. Cheap similarity of marketing in social networks does not work. Does this mean that groups and public companies in social networks can be deleted? Do not hurry.

What should not be SMM

First, a small digression from the topic. Search marketing has long become a two-color. You've probably heard about white and black SEO. Do you know how any student can instantly determine whether a tactic or tool belongs to good or bad practices?

Black SEO is always cheating, manipulation, deception of the audience and search engines. Representatives of the old school achieve results by exploiting the imperfection of search algorithms. White SEO is about meeting the needs of the audience and creating added value. Representatives of the new school are focusing on technical optimization, but are not looking for ways to deceive search engines.

Why information about black and white SEO in an article about social media marketing? Incorrect SEO and incorrect SMM have a common main feature: manipulation. Black marketing in social networks is based on deception, fakes, cheating. Only old-school smm-managers deceive the audience directly, and not through an intermediary who acts as a search engine in SEO.

Black social media marketing can be found on a number of grounds:

Growing bots

It is a growing pain that every smm specialist goes through. To increase the size of the group's audience, you register dozens of fake accounts. The first few bots you make look like the pages of real users: upload photos of people living in Australia or Argentina to your profile, join different groups, add real friends. In a word, pumping through the account.

Then you have a fantasy. Therefore, all other bots differ from each other only in their personal data and the names of the actors whose photos are used as an avatar.

Want to learn how to expose bots? Use the instructions.

Buying Subscribers

This is the easiest and fastest way to increase the number of the audience. To feel like the king of SMM, just register on some stock exchange and deposit money.

Buying social activity

This is a continuation of the previous paragraph. To become the master of social networks, you need to register on the stock exchange and buy reposts, "I like" marks and comments.

And as an example, look at the screenshot of the discussion of a note about holding a competition for the best tool for internet marketers. Several dozens of users with empty accounts voted for one of the participants.


Under this term, you can fit different types of activity in social networks. Here are some examples:

  • You send invitations to the group for everyone.
  • You add users to groups without their demand.
  • You leave inappropriate comments with links or product references.
  • You are using too many commercial hashtags.
  • You massively mention or mark on the photo users to draw attention to the publications.
  • You from the bay-floundering offer something to strangers.
  • You publish in the group or on your personal page only commercial offers.
  • You flood subscribers feed messages.
  • You abuse photos of kittens and other objects that attract attention.

Aggressive design of a personal page or public

There is nothing wrong with branding a page cover or a Twitter profile header. But some sellers go too far. We are talking about covers with a dozen CTA per square centimeter, photos of golden mountains, suitcases with dollars and other attributes of intrusive advertising.

Measuring SMM performance by the number of leads or deals

If a microscope fails to drive a nail, this does not mean that the microscope is defective. So it’s with social media marketing: if you don’t see instant sales growth, don’t scold the wrong tool.

Moreover, if you use SMM only to promote sales, welcome to the ranks of black marketers. For the sake of justice, it should be noted that some categories of products are selling well on social networks.

Ignoring feedback

If you ignore offers, ban subscribers for criticism, do not support discussion, SMM does more harm than good for business. Any social network is a two-way information exchange channel, and not a personal advertising platform. How to find out the public, managed by the old-school smm-manager? There are publications in the group, but there are practically no comments, “I like” marks and discussions.

Redundant automation

Using programs to send messages and invitations is a very significant symptom by which you can make a diagnosis of black SMM.


Trolling and provocations are almost the easiest ways to attract attention. If you often provoke users and violate moral and ethical standards, welcome to the club of the wrong marketers.

Abuse of entertainment content

If your company's page is similar to AdMe.ru, and not to a commercial public, review the strategy. With the help of funny stories, cute pictures, quotes from famous entrepreneurs and great writers, non-thematic tests can get attention. But to keep it will not succeed. Users should come to your group for business information, not entertainment.

Lack of goals and monitoring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns

It is said above that it is wrong to measure the effectiveness of an smm campaign by the number of transactions or the amount of revenue. Another mistake is the lack of goal-setting and performance monitoring. In fact, in this case you are marketing in social networks for the sake of the process itself.

Abuse of prize draws

This is a particular point about the purchase of social activity, which should be highlighted. Do you play a car for repost every week? Get ready for subscribers to stop joining your group without reward.

Creating unnecessary social noise

This is not a background social buzz or buzz, but a deafening cacophony that can be heard at rush hour on a busy street. In social networks, unnecessary noise is obtained due to meaningless messages. Here are some examples:

  • Monday, let's go!
  • Hurray, Friday! Between these points you can meet something like "Thursday almost Friday" and other nonsense.
  • Good morning, great day, gorgeous evening, gray night!
  • Hi, cats!
  • How are your moods, hard workers?
  • What does anyone eat for lunch? Spit it out in the comments.

Such messages are appropriate in entertainment groups or public "Typical Rio de Shushukino".

If desired, the list of signs of black SMM can be continued. And yet again, pay attention to the main symptoms of this disease: manipulation, aimless activity and imposing something on the audience.

Why the wrong SMM is in demand

The answer to this question includes three points. First, black SMM provides a quick and measurable result. For example, if you buy an increase in subscribers up to 10 thousand people, you will get it.

Secondly, old-school social media marketing is relatively inexpensive. Above, you saw an example from one of the stock exchanges: dark forces yield $ 0.05 each. for the soul.

Third, few people know the difference between black SMM and white. This, by the way, is the main reason why old-school social media marketing exists at all.

Why black SMM doesn't work

Everything is very simple here: your customers are not fools. You show a dismissive attitude towards a real audience when you gather in a group of bots, post stupid memes, flood subscribers with advertisements, ignore users' opinions.

Think of yourself: you are calculating fake accounts with a bang; You're not the only one so brilliant. False and clumsy vtyuhivanie feel everything. Our gullible grandmothers do not count, as they practically do not use social networks.

In the end, any manipulation works against the company's reputation. Here is the most innocuous recent example: a football club has posted on the social network photos of girls in sportswear. It turned out that the designer, using a visual editor, drew a club form on models of an “adult” genre. Lyap noticed fans. Wrote about the error "Lenta.ru".

The publication in “Lentera.ru” and probably the explosive growth in attendance of the public team on the social network that followed it could have been a huge success, if not for one “but”. The club management had to apologize for the choice of characters to represent the new form of the team.

There is another global cause of the inefficiency of the old school SMM. It works when you set wrong goals or work without a goal at all. For example, if you try to sell slag stones or metal structures in Vkontakte, failure is guaranteed. Please note that we are talking about sales through a social network. Manufacturers of metal and building materials can successfully use "Vkontakte" to promote with proper planning of marketing campaigns.

But an important particular, which can be attributed to the general point about the negative impact of manipulation on the company's reputation. Black SMM negatively affects search traffic. In fact, the wrong marketing in social networks refers to the tools of old-school SEO, which often becomes the cause of sanctions from the search engines.

According to the STC experiment, the “I like” marks and social network shareings do not affect Google’s output and traffic from this search engine. From this point of view, cheating in social networks do not have a negative impact on search marketing. And according to an experiment conducted by Sergey Koksharov, social cues affect the ranking. Therefore, we can not exclude the negative impact on the attendance of fake "likes" and distribution of the resource.

The main problem of black SMM - not the position of the resource in the issue and not even attendance. Manipulations in social networks disappoint the audience. This adversely affects the site’s behavioral metrics. And they absolutely accurately affect the traffic that search engines give the resource.

Do you hire bots that post fake links? Get a high bounce rate. The content of the page does not meet the expectations formed by the students commentators from the stock exchanges? Keep reducing your time on the site. Spamming in communities and private messages? Here you have untargeted traffic and associated with the reduction of the depth of viewing and a decrease in conversion rate. Wrong social media marketing doesn't look so harmless, right?

The illustration above is a good example of an incorrect SMM. Spam comment to an entertainment post in a non-topic group annoys the audience and negatively affects the company's reputation. Attempting to sell blinds using spam looks ridiculous, so there is an incorrect goal setting. What is missing is a link to the site to get a negative impact on behavioral metrics.

How does white SMM differ from black

If in one word, then all. It is easier to list the general signs of correct and incorrect marketing in social networks. These include work sites and virtually all tools. For example, white and black smm-managers use Vkontakte, Facebook and other networks. And those and others attract attention through raffles or provocative publications. But they do it in different ways. What is the essence of this "different"? Let's figure it out.

"M" means marketing

The main letter in the acronym SMM is the last. You need social media marketing. What it is?

Marketing is the creation, supply and exchange of goods, services and ideas that are valuable to existing and potential customers, partners and society as a whole. This is the definition of the American Marketing Association. Marketing is the satisfaction of the needs and requirements of people through the exchange of goods and services. This is the definition of Philip Kotler.

Now you can see better why the old school SMM has nothing to do with marketing. The audience clearly does not need spam and intrusive sales. Cheating and manipulation cannot be valuable for customers and society as a whole.

Yes, if you go down from heaven to earth, marketing involves the impact on demand, the promotion of business and product and sales promotion. But your products, services, and ideas should be valuable to people. In other words, the product and information about it should be appropriately offered to people in the right place at the right time. By the way, people should be right too.

This thesis can be considered on the example of the spam comment proposed by Sveta Zhalyuzinsky. Sure, blinds are a valuable commodity. But its value is nullified by an incorrectly chosen context and mode of action:

  • Trying to impose. Blinds do not belong to the goods of impulse demand, so the unprepared sale in the comments looks ridiculous.
  • Wrong place and time. People do not go to Public Cossa.ru to buy blinds.
  • Wrong people. Perhaps among the subscribers of the page there is a target audience of Svetlana Zhalyuzinskaya and her company. Still, interested users are more in profile groups.

Real social media marketing does not start with a sniff in the comments, but with ...

... goal setting and planning

The goal is the planned result. Therefore, the effectiveness of SMM depends on the correctly set goal of the marketing campaign. With the help of promotion in social networks, the following problems are solved:

  • Informing the audience about the company and the product.
  • Reputation management.
  • Forming a customer community.
  • Involving users in a conversion scenario.

The solution to these problems ultimately allows you to manage demand and stimulate sales.

Normal SMM is not limited to mechanical posting and reposting, commenting and sending invitations to groups. The above said marketer must provide added value to subscribers. For this you have to work hard and use special tools.

Informing the audience

To inform the audience it is not enough to write in the comments to someone else’s note in a foreign group that your company “A” is selling a cool product. To be heard, you need to offer users relevant and useful information.

Information campaigns begin with a study of the needs and preferences of the audience and the choice of sites. An organization may have pages or groups in all social networks, but the main efforts will have to be focused on several platforms. In selected social networks, the smm-manager solves two global tasks: the development of the company's community and the search and use of popular thematic communities for communication with the audience.

In the publication calendar, the marketer includes both announcements of publications on the corporate site and content created specifically for social networks. Here are a few ideas:

  • Polls
  • Contests
  • Infographics.
  • Photo. This type of content can be used to sell products and services on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Videos of different formats, such as videos on Instagram, Vine, Twitter, or timelapse video.
  • Live broadcasts and streaming. You can organize a broadcast using Periscope.

Separate attention deserves viral content. Virality is hard to plan. However, the smm-manager must constantly keep in mind the viral potential of publications. To implement it, you can use algorithms, catch information waves, exploit popular hashtags and memes.

Add curation of content, answers to users' questions, and participation in discussions. Now you do not delegate information campaigns in social networks to schoolchildren from the stock exchange, right?

Reputation management

In a broad sense, under the concept of "reputation management" falls almost all business activity on the Internet. В контексте SMM к управлению репутацией относится мониторинг упоминаний компании или продукта и реакции на них, изучение отношения пользователей к бизнесу и взаимодействие с потенциальными и существующими клиентами.

Следить за упоминаниями бренда можно с помощью систем поиска в соцсетях. Also, specialists use reference tracking services, for example, YouScan, Wobot, Hootsuite and others.

To explore the opinions of users about the product and the company, different tools are used: from analyzing discussions in popular thematic communities to conducting formalized research: surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and so on.

Reactions to mentions and communication with the audience form the company's reputation. By the way, not only smm-managers can communicate with clients. It is within the power of all employees of your organization.

Forming a customer community

A self-organizing consumer community is the dream of any manufacturer and seller. Online, they are most convenient to form on the basis of public and groups in social networks, as well as thematic forums.

Unlike the old school SMM, the right marketing strategy involves the natural development of the group. Users must join the community consciously. What is the point in increasing the size of the group to 10 thousand people, if 90% of newbies are bots and schoolchildren?

What tools are used to develop groups in social networks? You will be surprised, but there are only three of them:

  • Actual and useful information. This is what users join the group for.
  • Virality This is a natural replication of publications, which provides an influx of visitors and new members to the group.
  • Advertising. You can use any type of advertising, except for spam.

An active, popular community is half way to success in SMM. Remember, group effectiveness does not depend on the number of members, but on the quality of the audience.

Involving users in a conversion scenario

Involvement in the conversion scenario is not limited to traffic and lead generation. But for convenience of description, the task can be formulated as follows: SMM should provide transitions to the company's website. If you sell cosmetics or jewelry, you can partially convert traffic directly on social networks. But in niches with a more complex product, visits are converted into circulation and transactions take place on the site.

How does SMM provide referrals to the site? This is obvious: with the help of announcements of publications in the company community and thematic groups. Here are some more traffic generation tools:

  • Socialization of the site. Users should be able to share your publication with friends in popular networks.
  • Use attractive headlines. Headline - one of the main tools to attract attention to the post.
  • Eye-catching visual design of the publication. Remember your news feed in Facebook or Vkontakte. There's a lot of information there, right? To fight on equal terms with cats and other heavyweights of social networks, you need good visual content.
  • Hashtags, mentions of popular users. These tools draw attention to the post on the social network, which should provide transitions to the site.
  • References to the sections of site in the group. They can be published in separate entries in the "Useful Information" or "Contacts".

The above said that the conversion of traffic occurs on the site, and not in social networks. This clearly demonstrates the importance of integrated Internet marketing, of which SMM is an element.

Is it true that an effective SMM is expensive?

Not. An effective SMM is worth the effort and a planned result. Compare the following: cheating the number of groups using programs and bots against the natural development of the community, spamming and intrusive sniffing against identifying the needs of the audience and the formation of demand, fake reposts and comments against the sincere communication of specialists with potential customers.

How do old school tactics affect your business reputation and sales figures? And doesn’t it mean that you pay more for black SMM than for normal (regular, white, if you will) social media marketing?


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