There was a time when one of the primary goals of social media participation seemed to be growing large followings. In fact, we bought likes (how did that turn out), we gamed Twitter, we competed to add people who had no interest in our products and services to fan, follow and circle us.
Response: (Ok, did you not watch the most recent Silicon Valley, clicks go far when you are pretty low on usage. Did you see how much money they could have received from a VC? Seriously, most people reading this wouldn’t consider a first round of a few million in funding worth skipping town for a nice beach?)
Taken from John Jantsh’s article “Why Social Media Isn’t Working And What To Do About It”. Posted at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/social-media-works/
This seemed logical, I mean everyone knew you needed a big email list, why not a big Twitter following. In fact, services like Klout attempted to use follower metrics to measure influence and thereby create scorecards for people building and seeking influencer status.
Response: (I’m just going to say… Oprah)
Well, it appears that Kevin Kelly’s proclamation to artists trying to stand out in the long tail digital world was both true and prophetic – when it comes to social media use for most small businesses the goal is to embrace and nurture 1,000 true fans or 100 true fans and not the shifting universe of Twitter devotees.
Response: (Ok, did I not say Oprah earlier. Hell, there was a TV program that was devoted to her influence. Overnight millionaires because she is a walking massive Twitter campaign. She is so powerful that Tom Cruise fears her, and most of the world fears Tom Cruise, well at least Scientology. Those dudes are scary influential. Hahahahaha, joke, if Mr. Miscavige is reading this.)
Stop following and start listening, sorting, engaging and conversing. Focus on the social streams of your customers and hottest prospects. Eliminate the noise from social media and get your streams to a place where they can be useful.
Response: (Be careful to not cross the streams, unless Gozer is coming for you. In real life it can be difficult to know what stream is driving traffic when you have multiple going and they can create a cumulative effect. Reallocating your resources to different streams can sometimes be better than increasing the overall budget)
Stories have always been an important form of communication, but never more than now.
Stories help make the complex understandable, and they help people connect with emotion – the essential ingredient for attraction, loyalty, and referrals.
Response: (We’ve all seen the Princess Bride, we know how a story can get even a little brat to pay attention to Grandpa)
But, in the current state of social media clutter stories also help you stand out, they help people get what they turn to social media for most – to fight boredom, be entertained, and, what the heck, be social.
Response:(So then why all the hate on Pokemon Go? All these things sound pretty awesome to me)
Here’s the thing about stories – they don’t have to relate to your product or service, they don’t even have to be about you – good stories simply have to help people enjoy or understand some aspect of who they are or aspire to be.
The storytelling palette in a focused social media initiative can include your ads as well as your posts and updates – in fact, it should.
Response: (These last two paragraphs sound like what you get on a Tinder date. Show them something enticing, and then boom, switcheroo. Are there any ethical implications with directing traffic via this type of method? Be sure that your storytelling methods and traffic driving methods don’t get your business equated to the free vacation weekend for a timeshare speech)
SHOW YOUR FACE
Social media has become increasingly visual.
The most engaging posts and updates today come with stunning visual content. Visual platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat continue to grow at a stunning pace.
Response: (As of this writing more images are shared on Snapchat than any other platform including Facebook.) (Can anyone explain to me how any of these apps are different? Or have I already hit the age of no return? Now that is an interesting thought, how old is your targeted client?)
With the introduction of live streaming video platforms such as Periscope and Blab and the rollout of live video on Facebook, there’s never been a better time for people to meet and see the real you.
Response: (Update, the term “face for radio” is still very relevant for some of us)
I know a lot of social media folks are jumping on these visual platforms as a way to create more buzz and more following as early adopters and thought leaders and that’s okay – but for the typical small business with a focused following, there’s still a great opportunity here.
Use the more visual platform to let people see behind the curtain, let them see you at play, let them see how the product is made, let them see a day in the life.
Response: (Let them see cats. Whoever can find a way to incorporate cat videos into everyday marketing and be able to drive traffic with it… Oprah move over, you’ve been replaced with the new god of influence. Keep in mind, showing your face or adding interactive material is great if it applies to your industry. This can be a time intensive process, know who you customer is and whether a greater digital presence is warranted. If you customer is like me and hit an age where they don’t know the difference between SnapChat and Instagram, then you are just yelling into the void)
This one might be the hardest of them all because now I am going to suggest that you put in the time and actually care about what you are doing. Yikes, I know, tall order.
Once you have your 1,000 true fans, it’s time to start having meaningful conversations with them about what they want, what they don’t have, what they fear, what brings them joy.
Response: (Of course, you can do this via email and at the next networking event as well.) (Hey guys and gals, tell me what you fear, and I will market directly to that! Please fill out this online survey and I’ll make sure that Pennywise gets the results. You remember that guy, the clown from IT)
Here’s the trick though – a real conversation happens naturally – it doesn’t flow like a qualifying script.
Response: (Unless there is booze, and as far as I know there is no electronic booze delivery system yet)
Even if you only have ten minutes a day to dedicate to this activity start asking individuals – not followers – about things. Get very, very curious about helping people and, here’s one you might not have thought of, about how other people can help you.
Give people more reasons to talk to you, ask for feedback at every touchpoint, and don’t shy away from conversations that start on negative terms – those are how you learn, how you get better – and those are the only conversations you can’t fake.
Response: (This isn’t even meant to be a joke. This honestly seems like it would take forever if you have multiple clients. What small business has the resources to do this without increasing staffing or hiring an outside firm for a nominal fee? See what I did there? Found a way to plug your site Ducttapemarketing.com. You who are reading this, see the links at the bottom! You should take an assessment of what resources you have available to you on an internal and external basis when attempting to undertake extended face interaction time)
My last point has to do with money – or perhaps more accurately – revenue.
When you follow points one through four, you start to realize that all this focus, storytelling, personality sharing, and conversing turns into something meaningful – a relationship or two.
Response: (Or maybe just a Tinder date. Or are you suggesting after all this buildup we are closer to Eharmony level? Does anyone know if dating apps count as social media? I’m pretty sure Tinder tried to hook me up with a movie the other day… knew I should have swiped left)
And out of these relationships built on paying attention and being genuine, you can start to recognize ways that you can make a significant impact on someone’s life or business. You’ll identify mutually beneficial opportunities that lead to customers and sales and if you keep at it, repeat sales and referrals.
Yes, I’m on record here to tell you that you can sell through social media if you take the time to help people. So you see, social media isn’t dead, and it’s no different than any other sales channel – those who care, those who educate, those who provide utility – win.
Response: (Ask yourself whether social media is something that can positively impact your business. A traditional widget maker may say “no”, but just because you don’t use that medium, your customer may. Or like a I said before…. Cats! Can’t lose with cat videos)
5 Ideas taken from John Jantsh’s article “Why Social Media Isn’t Working And What To Do About It”. Posted at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/social-media-works/ Follow him @ducttape