In a world where there are a lot of social media experts, enthusiasts, practitioners and what not, how could those who wish to promote their products, services or themselves still easily get lost especially when Social Media Experts Now Outnumber iPhone Owners?
Perhaps with so many people trying to help business owners and even large corporations in their social media presence, these people might even end up not hiring one – well good luck with that – and choose to do it themselves. While I have nothing against handling your social media campaigns in house since you are supposed to know your business more than anyone else, it is also important to assess when it is best to outsource it and let someone who knows the trend, the culture of your target market more than you do. Let’s face it, you can’t be a jack of all trades. Now before we get into the social media campaign outsourcing debate again, I think what’s important is for the management to really look at the specific needs of their company and see whether they have in house resources and talents trained and experienced to listen instead of just trying to get the words out there about their business. If the assessment shows that it is necessary to outsource it, by all means, do it. If it could be better handled internally, make sure that your chosen voice could speak clearly, loud enough and most importantly, has the ability to listen.
People don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care
Several days ago, I spoke with a potential client for the social media services being offered by the company I’m working with and the prospect’s first question was how to raise the interaction in his fan page on Facebook. He has over 10,000 likes on his Facebook page and wonders why there isn’t even 5% of interaction every time they update their page.
I gave him a simple response: ” Stop being you and start being ‘I’”. With that, I told him that while it is important to keep your fans or audience be updated with the latest news about your company, it is important to also reach out to your fans in a way that they would feel that you are genuinely interested in them too. I told him it’s about time for him to stop being just You, You, You and start being I. Now what are these I’s?
Don’t be afraid to share updates and news about your industry in general. Chances are big that the people who liked your page are interested about your industry and not just you so it’s alright to link to news sites or blogs that are related to your industry. If you open your Google Reader and read your favorite blogs about your industry daily, why not try sharing those interesting information with your page fans instead of exclusive linking to your blog and blog alone and having all the talk centered to you? Unless you’re Lady Gaga, it won’t help in increasing the interaction percentage when all you do is talking about yourself alone. Besides, there’s your personal Facebook page for all that you-talking.
Becoming interesting is not as easy as gathering likes on Facebook or increasing your followers on Twitter. Aside from the fact that there’s plenty of software now that anyone can use for those purposes, becoming interesting requires that you’ve got to have more brains and creativity than money. Yes, instead of the other way around. The folks at ThoughtWrestling gave 23 More Excellent Ways To Be Interesting (And More Creative) and one of which is:
Be interested in the world around you.
You’ve read it right! It takes an interested mind to be interesting. Copyblogger also shared 21 interesting ways to be interesting and the 21st was: Put your readers first. Once you consider putting yourself in your readers shoes, try to understand what would they want to hear instead of just focusing on what you want to say. You will have a better chance of succeeding in captivating your target’s interest.
One thing which really ticks me lately is that a couple of people sent me messages about their products and blogs. One’s approach was rather more friendly and subtle while the other was simply straightforward about sending me over 4 links to his website and read my blog – blah blah blah. The first person’s approach was a little bit more casual and at first – friendly. He asked about my interests and even suggested another interest to which I responded affirmatively. When I told him I like the said interest too, bam! I’m getting over 2 links a day about a video how the people in a certain MLM company are having the time of their lives traveling. Nothing wrong about that I guess but it’s becoming rather obvious that you are promoting – actually over-promoting – something.
The other person was simply blunt. He sent me 3 messages on my Facebook inbox telling me about his website. It’s obvious he’s sending the link to his site to almost everyone he’s connected with based on the Wall post activities he has and even posted 3 links of the same message on my Wall. Now I don’t have anything against people trying to promote themselves since it’s part of networking but before you trying over-selling yourself, it is important to listen and understand your target first before you go about bombarding them with links. My all-time favorite of how brands are using the social media to listen is the 4 Creative Ways to Reward Your Facebook Fans wherein brands like Honda showed their appreciation to their fans by giving back what was given to them like when a fan carved a Honda logo into their lawn, Honda also carved that fan’s name into their corporate headquarters’ lawn at the main entrance. A fan revealed his love for Honda with his Honda logo tattoo; Honda’s vice president of marketing got an airbrushed tattoo of the fan’s name and face.
Once you’ve done your part in listening, it is very important to be engaging and interactive. When a fan shows support, be sure to acknowledge the effort and try to show your appreciation by saying “Thanks” or giving recognition, responding to Wall Posts, retweets or commenting on dedicated blog posts. You can’t say that you don’t have enough time and resources to respond because you’ve actually asked for the attention. Now that it’s there, it’s essential to give something to your readers or audience back.
Before you try and start promoting your link to someone’s Wall or sending messages to almost everyone in your network to check out your latest blog post, might as well ask how was their day, genuinely compliment on how good their garden is or simply finding a common interest and once you see an opportunity to give an introduction about what you do, do it. But don’t over-do it. Remember, once is enough and once they see that you really provide value that they need, they’d be the one who would come to you and might even talk about you without you asking for it.