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Antisocial? Or Anti-social-media?

Posted on July 12, 2011 @ 11:22 AM in Uncategorized

In the 1960s, Bob Dylan wrote “The times, they are a-changin’…”

That was two whole decades before Big Blue and Bill Gates blessed us with the first personal computer. So was Bob a prophet or a putz? Because the times, they have never a-changed faster than now.

Until quite recently, I didn’t know my SEO from my CEO. A blog from a blurb. I felt like roadkill on the information highway. I was putting the “twit” in “Twitter” all by myself. Know what I mean?

So I made a point of trying to learn more about these things. Maybe what I’ve learned will help you, too.

Those of us who are Baby Boomers or older seem to be particularly freaked out by social media. We just don’t get it, especially for business. All this sharing of mundane detail. Lack of privacy and decorum. A common question asked about Twitter is, “Does anyone really care what I had for breakfast?”

(The answer to that is “YES!”. I’ll tell you why later…)

Join the Party!

Here’s a great way to think of social media.

Twitter is all about small talk, being friendly to people. You’re just hanging out, “following” people you think are interesting and listening to what they have to say. You’re expected to chime in with your two cents’ worth, even if they happen to be celebrities. If you like what someone’s saying and think others would, too, you retweet their messages.

Facebook is a house party where you invite your friends. Everyone’s milling around, sipping, chatting and having a good time. If you were at a real party, the last thing you’d want is to be cornered and pitched to by an obnoxious insurance salesman. The same thing applies on Facebook.

You’re the Host

Your objective, as a business owner, is to get people to know, like and trust you. That’s it. So make your guests feel welcome and comfortable. Feed them (information/useful content). Be helpful and attentive. Introduce them to other guests. Engage them in interesting conversation and ask their opinions.

In time – at any party – little groups form. The men may gather in the backyard by the barbecue. Conversation eventually turns to, “So what do you do?” At that point, you’ve been invited to talk about yourself or your business. Again, you don’t launch into a full-blown pitch. Everyone’s still just chit-chatting and getting acquainted.

If someone DOES want more information or appears interested in what you have to offer, you casually direct him to your website or blog. That’s where the actual selling happens. When people arrive at your website or blog via Facebook or Twitter, they are predisposed to buying because they’ve already decided that they know, like and trust you enough to give you their business.

If you’re constantly pitching them on Facebook and Twitter, they won’t be visiting your blog or site. They likely won’t want to attend any future parties of yours, either. Worst of all, they’ll be warning their friends to stay away from you.

Why What You Had for Breakfast Matters

Suppose you tweeted: “At Timmy’s having coffee and a muffin. It’s stale. Tomorrow, Starbucks!” If you were Tim Horton’s, you could (and should) search Twitter to find every mention of your name. You’d see this complaint and publicly jump in to correct it.

“Sorry about that. Please come back in tomorrow. We’ll give you a fresh muffin for FREE.”

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media are just tools to help you get your message out and connect with people. They don’t replace traditional marketing and sales. Email was scary and foreign at first, too.

You’ve come a long way, baby. Keep it going!

How are you using social media in your business?

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