Good business has always been about relationship building. Through the decades, this has evolved from the simple handshake to wider reaching methods including direct mail, telemarketing, email and now social media and your website.
It’s important in your web development and web design work to understand the dynamics of social media and Internet marketing. Social media is an arena that is becoming more and more a part of your actual website through things like Google’s “+1” button and Facebook’s “Like” button as well as social bookmarking like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and others.
What has happened over these past decades is a widening of the gap between consumer and salesperson/business. That gap has been caused by pollution of all the aforementioned communication methods to the point where consumers are saying “Enough already! Leave me alone and let me make my decision in peace. I get it…you’re ALL the best.”
This is what social media is all about and why every “consumer’s” social media account is a safe haven for them. You’re a “friend” or “connection” in that person’s social media world only because they’ve allowed you in. Most businesses that have trouble with social media have trouble because once they’re accepted in a person’s social media circle of friends, they resort to the same ol’ blind “junk mail” or “spam” tactics.
There is no quicker way to get blacklisted in social media circles than to abuse the privilege of being in those circles through spam and consistently “salesy” posts. Anyone who views you as “spammy” or simply want to tune you out can easily do it with the click of a button. This really renders the more “type A” aggressive approaches to communication powerless.
So what are the important dynamics of social media and Internet marketing with regard to your business? Here are the four most important ones:
- Care first and people will care more about you.
- Recognize social media as top of mind awareness and stop being “salesy” in your posts and messages.
- Be willing to give truly useful information through your site. It’s why people will come back.
- Post consistently on your website…at least once a week.
Care first and people will care more about you. Perhaps the most simple aspect of the whole social media process is the one businesses ignore most. Care first and be responsive to your social media connections. Yeah, yeah, yeah…we hear it all the time. “I don’t care about what so-and-so had for breakfast.” “I don’t care what so-and-so is doing tonight.” Okay, fair enough. Keep in mind, though, that “so-and-so” is a potential customer/client and they don’t necessarily care about YOUR business, either.
So now what?
It’s important to remember that when you’re dealing with an easy-to-use open forum like social media, you will be connected with all types of people. This holds true for your website, too, as social media bookmarking and sharing buttons like the Facebook “like” and Google’s “+1” are morphing websites into the new wave of social media. You may see Tweets and Facebook posts from some connections that leave you rolling your eyes or shaking your head. Just ignore them, because tomorrow they may post something about their daughter/son’s upcoming graduation or a birthday, etc. and it’s important to respond to these whenever you can because it let’s people know that you care about more than just selling them something.
Care first and people will then care about you. Take that first step. It’s the most positive top-of-mind-awareness there is.
Recognize social media as top of mind awareness and stop being “salesy” in your posts and messages. The Internet is a forum where you can put your business in front of millions upon millions of potential visitors and customers or clients. Why, then, do so many businesses forget about people in this forum and focus on “ME ME ME”?
There is virtually no spin or sales pitch you can throw out there that people haven’t heard before. In fact, many potential customers know the pitches by heart either because they’ve heard them before or they’ve been through the same sales training as you. Sales has by far the highest turnover rate of ANY mode of employment, which means there’s a good chance that many of your prospects are or have been in sales themselves.
Simply put, today’s consumer really HAS heard it all before.
When you go to make a new post on your social media account or website, think of your audience as collectively thinking “Blah, blah, blah…yeah, I know you’re the best. How can you help ME?”
Transparent, consumer-focused marketing has never been more important than it is on the Internet, because as soon as someone gets a bad feeling about you and/or your business they can click away from your site in a millisecond. Eliminate sales pitches from your social media and website communication and focus on giving information…and perhaps a little entertainment when warranted.
Next week, we will examine in detail the third and fourth most important social media dynamics.