Okay, so the last time I got on here, I was on a bit of a tear about using social media marketing without responsibility and Spamming the crap out of everyone. I hate it, you hate it, everyone hates it, and so what have we learned? Don’t do that.
Well, that was easy.
Now that we know what not to do in your social media marketing, here’s the flipside. How do we go about that the right way? And when I say “right” I mean,
of course, the way to use social media in a positive manner. One that will enhance your online presence and lend credibility not only to your name, but to whatever it is that you’re desperate to promote.
Yeah, I said “desperate” and no, that doesn’t mean it’s a negative thing.
Not if it’s the thing that infects you with the motivation to delve into social media marketing when you might not have tried it before. Desperation is the mother of invention isn’t it? Yeah-yeah, I know Plato actually said “necessity”, but in this market, I think “desperation” is a better fit. Go ahead and be desperate, but be it in the heroic sense, pursuing social media marketing with intensity and fuelled by your burning desire to be, well, great.
How can that be a bad thing?
First, we need to know what social media is for. Trust me, you only think you know what it’s for. If everyone knew, well, there wouldn’t be any spammers now would there? How does it always get back to that? Meh… Okay, moving onward..!
Human beings are inherently social creatures. It’s just what we are. In the primordial soup of technology and the Internet in which we’ve been swimming since the 90’s, here we are. Very flesh and blood beings bumping up against all the mechanisms of technology and often floundering with the loss of humanity that arose within it. Remember that rash of films that erupted from those fears about technology taking over the earth and the loss of humanity? It freaks us out and we can’t deal with it. I’d go so far as to say we hate it.
So what did we do?
Desperation – yeah that’s right I said it again – drove us to find our own human way through the DNS and the registries and every piece of technology that emerged. Chat programs, email and message boards burst forth, while we learned to use the technology we created and bent it to our purpose. Why? So we could connect with each other. So we could continue to be the social human beings we are, because we can’t change. At least, not in that way.
Twenty years later, the evolutionary outcome of that desperation for human connection is the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, community message boards, personal blogs, Facetime, YouTube explosion. Let’s face it, man, we have a desperate core need to talk to each other. So knowing that, when you make your approach to any social media marketing avenue, how should you do it? Seems pretty clear to me.
These venues are not billboards. These are places to connect with human beings.
Approaching your social media marketing
If you know that humans are social, then that makes the whole thing incredibly easy, don’t you think? You already know how to talk to people. I mean, seriously, you’ve been doing it since you were what? Like one years old? Perfect. You’re already qualified!
Any moment you are in a social media space, no matter what space that might be, do the thing you do best – talk to people.
The first time you make your presence known, it should be an invitation, the opening of a discussion. What do you say when you meet someone for the first time? Um, “hello” is a good place to start, don’t you think? I’ve never seen anyone get very far with a “I’M THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD WHY WON’T YOU PAY ATTENTION TO ME???” Ever had anyone come up to you like that at a party? Usually makes you run in the opposite direction, right? Don’t be that guy.
Seriously. Even email servers do it when they talk to each other (see HELO protocol if you’re interested). We make the machines do it, so why shouldn’t we?
An invitation can lead to ongoing dialogue. Ongoing dialogue takes participation on both sides, but you can lead it there, so just do it. Engage people, respond to people, and make thoughtful comments on what they’ve spent time to share with you and the rest of the Internet community. You will connect with them and once connected? Well, then you’re free to exploit that other trait of our humanity, trust, that arises out of an established relationship. And then pitch your deal to them.
With that established relationship, at the very least they’ll allow you the time to do so without shutting you down.
But you know? If you’ve already created an ongoing dialogue, chances are you’re going to get a much better return on the effort you put out in your social media marketing. People will respond to you. They will respond, because you’ve approached them the right way – the way social media marketing is meant to be pursued and the way we crave receiving it.
With a human touch.