Where Do We Go From Here?

Takeaways from my efforts in Social Media Marketing

I’ll start with my point first, and then tell you how I arrive at it —

When it comes to Social Media Marketing, we ought not to separate the social media from the marketing.

In the rush and excitement to take advantage of the power of social media platforms, I believe we may be missing the most important principles of this marketing method in all the shiny, dazzling possibilities.

No matter how immensely saturated the widely-known platforms get, it still cannot be denied that social media represents a powerfully potent tool in the arsenal of marketers everywhere.

Playing Instruments

First things first, something that must be acknowledged — not all social media platforms, and sometimes not even social media in general, are the best options for expanding marketing influence. Like instruments in a band, not all instruments fit in to any sort of genre. For the production of their iconic album Pet Sounds, the Beach Boys employed cellos, harpsichords, flutes, an Electro-Theremin, and bicycle bells to get their signature sound. As you might imagine, this does not mean that everyone needs to use all these unorthodox instruments to be as good as the Beach Boys.

Long story short, you use the methods that work for you. The problem here is, of course, how do you know which, if any, of the social media platforms are right for your business?

That level of insightful understanding can really only come 1) from someone who has more than a little experience with each of the social media platforms, or 2)after significant effort has been placed in trying out a certain social media platform. So if you’d like to be on social media, for whatever reason or motive, you might as well give it a try.

Depth, Not Reach

In his book, “The Thank You Economy,” as well as in many other mediums, social media personality Gary Vaynerchuck has said that if we want to be successful on social media platforms, it is in the depth of our relationships and not in the quantity of followers/likes that we will see the greatest impact. He has said that 1 great, engaging customer on social media is worth more than fifty pointless connections.

The simply put, we need to use social media to be social. In all of our technological endeavors, especially in business, there is a common under-running theme of cutting out as much human interaction as possible. And so we apply the same ideas to social media — that it is a way to automate our marketing and reach more people with less effort.

This, of course, runs directly contrary to the point of social media platforms in the first place. Imagine actually using these platforms to connect genuinely and develop lasting relationships with our customers. Imagine becoming more meaningful part of these people’s life. Now, for a business, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put a priority on making friends for the sake of making friends, but with the inevitable transparency as well as the immense market saturation of social media, this is the only to build any sort of substantial influence from which your business can profit. The power of these platforms, then, lies in connecting better, in being more human, rather than less.

It then should come only as a logical implication that we should careful not to limit our marketing efforts to the social media space. Just because we are on social media does not mean we can’t still be social in the regular face-to-face way. Indeed, a phone call, or a meeting over lunch might be the best way to establish a connection with a potential customer/partner.

Do Something Fun

In the spirit of authenticity, it should be mentioned that social media promoting is at its best when it is, for the customer, a “free party.” It has to be fun. The customer has to want to come see your promotion for the mere sake of seeing it. The more of an advertisement for a product your promotion is, the more people will stay away.

On the other hand, if you “throw a party and invite everyone,” naturally people will want to come. And yes, some will only come for the free food or to swim in the pool, without any interest of who the host is. But I would dare say that it would be hard to forget who the host of a fun party was, especially when their name is clearly marked on their profile.

For specific examples of this principle, please see http://www.postano.com/blog/14-best-social-media-campaigns-of-2014

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