You know, we are doing something wrong.
I see so many bowling centers, mini golf courses, FEC’s and other types of entertainment facilities that are so proud they have a Facebook page that they cannot wait to show and tell it to every body who will care to see it. In fact, their “Social” media page has turned into a 21st century fax or a traditional print advertisement or, worse, a flier to blatantly sell their product.
No, no,no. Social media is just that. Its social. Think of all these social networks as a party. You wouldn’t go to a party, and after you say, “Hi I’m Fred”, then say, “I’m only at this party to sell you my consulting services; here’s what I’m selling, here’s what it costs, so sign up today.” Hell No! These folks would look at you like you’re the biggest *%$#@ on the planet.
Yet that’s exactly what we do with our Facebook pages and Twitter tweets. I must get 20 tweets a day that are trying to sell me something and just as many Facebook notifications about the great entertainment programs XYZ center is offering and why I should buy it NOW. Why should I? I really don’t even know you. Just because i signed up to be your friend (because you are a friend of a friend) doesn’t mean I always want to be sold by you.
Treat me like a friend first. That’s what social media is about. Its about making friends at a party and then, if I have a nice conversation with my new acquaintances, I might invite them to my party for drinks, dinner and some friendly conversation. My party is my blog. It is where I tell you more about me, my family, my experiences, what I do, what my interest are and what I do for a living.
And it is in my blog where I try to share some information, some ideas and some thoughts with them; to tell them a little bit more about me as a person. I still treat them like a friend and just talk to them. I tell them what I’m thinking, what I like, where I have been and where I want to go. But I don’t sell.
Think of it this way. Suppose I sell RV’s (tough time for that business, isn’t it?) and some of the people who I have invited to visit my RV blog probably would never buy an RV, not in a million years, but they visit my blog anyway cause I’m a nice guy and they like my ideas, find them thought provoking, interesting and they just like me for who I am.
What if, by chance, they know somebody who is interested in buying an RV and they tell that person, “Hey I just met Fred, he’s kind of cool and he sells RV’s. Why don’t you check out his blog or his web site” See. I just got a great recommendation, a credible referral and a highly qualified prospect who trusts the person who referred me. That’s social networking at its best.
Now if your blog (or party)is remarkable as Seth Godin, the author of Purple Cow Marketing, preaches, people will notice you. Remarkable is merely that. Something to remark about. Something for someone else to tell someone else about.
If you stop selling your products on your Facebook page, your Twitter tweets and your umpteen social networking pages, as your guru computer person told you about, you’ll make more friends, gain greater word of mouth advertising and get more referrals.
And that’s from me to you with no sales. But if you want to send my blog to one of your friends, that’s OK too.