Social media has been prostituted. By prostituted, I mean that it has been used in a method that it was not meant to be used for: it has been used for short term gain.
Promise me this: you will stay with me and read this article to the end! I will give you some strategies that will help. I want you to understand that social media has been crammed down our throats to the point that the “experts” have done complete 180s from the selling point of ‘how social media will explode your business’ to the far side of ‘social media doesn’t work’. (I am not kidding. I have seen this from a (for the time being) nameless expert)
Let me share what I see happening in successful companies: they are using social media for two things: 1) Content delivery and 2) Conversation driving. They are not going for the immediate result of a sale or even the immediate result of an appointment. The successful companies are using social media to warm up the relationship and start the process of trust.
Here is part of a talk I will be preparing about social media. (I read a quote today about Fred Rogers, AKA Mr. Rogers who said, “I got into television because it was so horrible and I saw such potential”) I will give you some of the major points.
Point #1: Therefore what? Businesses are going nuts trying to get to people who will never buy a thing and probably don’t even care about the business. I try to get out there with my business so I can be found and in many different social media mediums, I see this constant “like my page” nonsense. I call it nonsense because I am being polite. Suppose you get 500 people to like your page using this tactic, therefore what? How does that get you business? Pretend for a moment that someone in that 500 might refer you; are you posting content that matters to them or at the very least might hold up the idea that you are worth their referral? I haven’t seen it happening yet.
Point #2: What is your strategy? Gary Vaynerchuck, (NYT Best Seller) says that you can’t be like the 19 year old dude who is going for the quick close with the pretty girl. Social media is not meant for the quick close (the sale) it is meant for building relationships and letting people get to know you.
Point #3: Social Media is not very social. Just because you have the ability to urinate doesn’t mean you should do so as you walk down the street. Control is an issue here. I was watching one of these TV court shows and a guy made the mistake of mouthing off on social media which was then used to rule against him. Use the same exact manners and words you would use if you were face to face with someone you look up to and respect. Don’t be a jerk, don’t be an idiot, and don’t be the person who looks like a loudmouth moron.
Point #4: Content used to be king. It is now the time to realize that the new king is relationships. You need to use social media to be social, Have any of you connected with an old high school friend? If so, wasn’t that awesome to reconnect and get to know each other in your respective lives? Reach out and thank those who friend you, who comment or make comments and use compliments to bring others closer. Here is a pet peeve: 50 people wish you a happy birthday and you simply write a post, “Thank you for all the birthday wishes!” Take the time and “like” each of their posts then build the relationship by making some comments.
I think that we need to go back to simple manners with social media and use common sense. Arguing, complaining or bullying has no place in the world, let alone our businesses. The point of social media is to use it as the greatest tool ever to begin the process of a relationship, not to close the deal.
Until next week, here’s to your success!

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