When social media isn't social
I recently had an opportunity to attend a massive social event. The attendance was countless and the venue, expansive. There seemed to be no limit to how much I could sell. The problem was, my competition was there as well. Unsure where to begin, I simply walked up to the first stranger I saw and told him how awesome my product was. You know what they say, A.B.C. (always be closing). Before he knew what hit him, I asked for the sale. Surprisingly, he didn’t respond as I would’ve liked.
After doing this to a few more strangers, I started to get the feeling I was maybe (just maybe) doing something wrong. As a matter of fact, some of the people even had the nerve to act annoyed. Didn’t they know I was trying to help? Didn’t they understand I was giving them a great product at a fantastic value? There was only one reasonable explanation; these people were nuts. Luckily, I’m not a quitter. It would take more than a few rejections to slow me down.
I mustered up all the charisma and enthusiasm I could and just started popping up in the middle of other people conversations. If there were two or more people talking, I would butt in and disrupt their conversation with my awesome offer. Again, rudeness came from these people who obviously wouldn’t know a good deal if it smacked them in the face. They not only ignored me, they blocked me out of their conversations.
I felt there was only one reasonable thing I could do. I jumped up on the nearest table and started yelling at the top of my lungs, “Why won’t you people pay attention to me!I need to sell you something!”Frustrated, angry and confused, I shut off my computer, stood up from my desk and gave up social media marketing forever.
I’m afraid many businesses are having this same experience on social media. Confused, excited and clueless, they begin by disrupting people with paid ads. When that doesn’t work, they flood their timeline with discounts and direct response messaging. They leave out the most important part of social media, the social part.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for paid ads and call to action marketing in your social media strategy, but that should be only part of your strategy. The vast majority of your activity should be about a real connection with your customers. When you leave the social out of social media you become like a guy standing on a table screaming at the top of his lungs, “Pay attention to me!”
I don’t know about you but I try to stay away from people like that. Don’t let your business be like that guy. Allow your company’s personality to shine. Unlike traditional advertising, social media is a conversation. Your customers want you to talk to them, not at them.
If your social media presence needs a refresh, here are just a few people (and businesses) in the industry that do an awesome job on Twitter: Follow them and their lead:
What social media advice would you like to share? Comment below or Tweet using #FurnishingIdeas
Steve Lowsky, President/CEO of Middle Market Strategies on what makes a company great now