Sunday, January 1, 2012

Marketing Tip: Social Media: Yeah, you're loud and clear, but do you hear them?

Social media often seems to include more "ME" than "You" socializing.
Most people seem to be cheating themselves.  They seem to be missing a key part of social media.

Only recently have I been making any effort to become part of the social media trend.  Actually, I'm not sure, yet, whether it is a trend or a craze.  It's definitely a buzz.

I did some social media work for someone else a while ago, and I remember making some observations then.

For a short while I  did a little in Facebook.

For a while, I had a Facebook fling.  It didn't last.
As I am doing more in LinkedIn, I am remembering a little bit of the reason why I stopped.

Slowly, I'm getting reconnected to social media on LinkedIn.
I notice that there are many more conversations that are started than there are conversations engaged.  It seems like these fit into one of two categories:
  1. Not Conversation Worthy
  2. Conversation Worthy-Not Noticed
This is not true all of the time, but I am seeing this pattern.

1. Not Conversation Worthy

Another way of putting these types of posts are blatant self-promotion that ignore the social aspect.

Nobody is going to find value in posts like,
  • I got engaged to a rich man.  It could happen to you, just visit
  • My blister medicine is the best.  Buy some now at
  • Let's have a "Like" me contest.  Let's prove that University of Whatever can get more Likes than Whatever State University
  • Click "Like" if you an old-fart still listening to this old stuff this year.
  • Having another sales presentation this week.  Be foolish enough to go there, because nobody ever returns since they're not very good.
Pick Me!  Like Me!  Notice Me--because I asked you--not because I earned your passion.
Do you gain any value from these types of posts?  Very few people really do, and most of the people sending these are not exactly "targeting" their market.  Targeting blister medicine to an "I have a blister" group is different than simply shouting this in a crowd.

Would we do this in the middle of a party?

Why do we feel the need to do this on the Internet?  At a party, we will see people looking at us like we're out of place.  On the Internet, we don't get to see those stares.  That's called a hit-and-run.

2. Conversation Worthy-Not Noticed

There are many really good conversations.  Truth be told, it's pretty near impossible to keep pace with so many good pieces on the Internet.

The other reason is that so many people are trying to share what THEY have to say, they aren't taking time (or effort) to notice the cool things that OTHER people have shared.

Next time you're on one of these sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), notice how few things actually have comments.  If we're lucky, we might get a few "Likes," but they don't really encourage a lot of additional conversation.

It's not like we can say, "I really like the way you Liked that post.  You did a good job of spotting a good one.  Thanks for Liking that."

The Like button is efficient, but it also allows us to be lazy.  We miss an opportunity to understand why you were intelligent enough to appreciate something.  With that, it might have given us a better chance to be intelligent with you.

Instead, you just "Liked," which admittedly, is more than most other people are doing on these sites.

When Social Media is Really Good

Some really good value from social media comes from
  • Sharing Ideas
  • Sharing Opinions
  • Sharing Insights
These are what help make social media really good.  Actually, they make social media pretty special.

Just as importantly, the other real value comes from
  • Receiving Ideas
  • Receiving Opinions
  • Receiving Insights
These things require HEARING other people.

Many people are so busy making sure that they are being heard that they are forgetting to take time to hear others.

Notice that this is the REAL value that most people miss. These are what make social media truly unique to other forms of internet marketing.

Businesses don't survive if nobody wants what you are trying to sell.  People are telling you all of the time.  You just have to listen.

According to one statistic I read recently, companies are responding to barely over 50% of the posts that their customers place on their different social media sites.

It's almost like they forgot the real point of SOCIAL media.  They also lose the real value.  Imagine how "honored" many of these customers would feel with just a little acknowledgement.

If you looking for a job, people mention problems that they have where they work.  Some people's problems are very specific, but many problems repeat themselves.  If you find one of these problems and can help solve them, do you think you might have a good chance of getting a job to help solve that problem?

We can't control what other people do, but we do our part to contribute to the community.

Let's share things that bring good reason to promote discussion.

More importantly, let's take advantage of the real value of social media.  Other people are telling us what is important to them.  Let's not miss this opportunity to hear what they're saying and deliver.

Our customers (or employers) really want you to help find ways to make their lives better.  All we have to do is pay attention to them.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

To visit The Ultimate Analyst company website click HERE.

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