Or how to KISS Marketing Goodbye
Keep It SOCIAL, Silly
Social Media – ALL OF THEM – are not designed to be a marketing tool. Across the board, social media are places to create connections and grow relationships. It is right there in the name . . . S O C I A L.
I attended a conference a while back and the speaker was talking about the confusion of social media. She made the analogy of social media sites being like a cocktail party with everyone mixing and mingling and having a good time and then you have those few that are going around handing out cards and asking for business or carrying around a bag and trying to sell their wares.
There are always “those people” that do spend the whole party promoting themselves. There are always “those people” that are painful in their bragging. Most of the time the rest of us just gravitate away from “those people” and migrate towards the ones that are mixing and mingling and having a good time.
Here is the secret – social media platforms – ALL OF THEM – are not about marketing a product but about being relentlessly helpful to others – by mixing, mingling, sharing, encouraging, and having a good time.
Marketing textbooks often describe the basic premise of the process with four Ps – product, price, place, and promotion. That one definition should be enough to let you know that social media is NOT the key to marketing.
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines marketing as the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary also defines social media as “electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos). Other definitions I encountered used words and phrases to describe social media such as “share,” “interaction,” “getting to know each other,” “driving conversations,” “brand awareness.” All of these words and phrases are about giving and sharing and not about selling. The selling opportunities come from the giving and sharing.Remember the most important thing about sells: People buy a feeling or an experience and not a product. Click To Tweet
If you want to create success with the tool of social media as part of your plan, then you have to master the art of social media first.
Successful Social Media Marketing
- Know the rules – AND FOLLOW THEM
My friend, Katharine Grubb, launched the Facebook group “10 Minute Novelists.” There are only a few times each week that members are allowed to post links or promotions. She and I started a weekly #WriteTalk radio show, and even though it was aired on a different day than promotion days, she would not promote her show on her group because it went against the founding rules.
Her group was all about being relentlessly helpful to writers on the writing journey – and already Writer’s Digest has proclaimed her site to be one of the top writing sites on the internet. People that visit the Facebook page know what to expect and are not overwhelmed with advertisements and pitches.
It only takes a minute to read through the rules for most groups, events, or websites, and it will be the best few minutes you can invest in maintaining lasting relationships.
- Stop trying to sell stuff.
Nobody comes to a party wanting to be pitched. Nobody attends a cocktail party hoping a random person will come up and try to pawn their wares. Attending social media events – even those on your own sites – is all about investing in relationships and relationships are about giving.
Have a conversation. Share insights and ideas. Provide some help and support. Once the relationship grows then the opportunity to share what you do and what you have available will arise.
- Stay engaged.
Relationships are not built with one encounter and they are not maintained with one encounter. The more that I give, then the more that I will find that I receive – maybe not from others but I will receive learning and experience from the very encounters where I am investing.
Take time each day to visit the groups, comment on posts, and stay connected. It is not rocket science. Even over the internet, it is still about making time for others.
- Do unto others
Or, to put it more plainly, how can you expect others to do something for you if you aren’t willing to do for them. Make a determined investment in sharing posts from others, commenting on their posts, and linking back to their content. Be sure to do it without expecting a return. Just do it to share the information and be a benefit to your readers (so stay true to your brand and voice).
Investing in others always has a way of offering a return for that investment – sometimes you just have to look closer to find it.
- Stick to the positives.
There is enough noise in the world already. People want to be encouraged and fed a little hope for the efforts. Why do you think things like kitten videos go viral? Think back to the party analogy. Do you prefer to be around people that are laughing, or do you want to hand out in the corner with the depressed and angry?
Find something good, positive, and encouraging to say to others and about others.
For the most part, marketing is about common sense and decency – or what was common sense and decency anyway. Be nice. Offer something of value. Be helpful. Provide encouragement. The investment of engagement is what creates the marketing opportunities and not the other way around.
Kathryn offers a phrase of hope through her columns, articles, books, and workshops to shine the Light on the moment. Her personal hope is that every person who encounters her words will feel as if those words were written (or spoken) just for her. She speaks at women’s conferences, professional organizations, and schools on finding purpose, being encouraged and growing relationships. Learn more about Kathryn by visiting www.KathrynLang.com or email her at KathrynLang@KathrynLang.com.
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