The World Hasn’t Really Changed
One thing that I find people really don’t understand is that the world has not changed. The way that you generate business, the way you communicate with people, and the way you approach life fundamentally has not changed. It’s the way in which we do those things that has. It is the mediums that we use that have changed.
Word-of-mouth is known to be one of the greatest marketing vehicles that drive business growth for many local or small businesses. The funny thing about that is many of those business owners don’t understand that there’s a new way to implement word-of-mouth and that’s through social media. Think about it… social media is the new word-of-mouth.
Let’s look at retail. 20 years ago people would’ve killed (and still would) to have their products or their brand placed into a department store like Hudson’s Bay, Home Depot, or Walmart. The thing about that is people don’t understand the exact same opportunity is staring them in the face with platforms like Amazon and Etsy. Amazon is the new department store, Etsy is the farmers market. It’s incredibly easy to get your product onto these platforms. Just like a department store, you can start with one product, add another one and start building a brand. Step back and think… it’s the exact same thing as getting your product into Home Depot. They are the middle man.
Another great similarity is YouTube and reality TV. How many people wish they had their own reality TV show? Businesses that got their own TV show exploded, grew at rapid rates, and even ended up having lineups around the block. A great example of that is Carlos Bakery with TLC’s Cake Boss. All you need today is your phone, a YouTube account and you can have your own reality TV show. Every single business that would accept a deal from A&E to start their own TV show should be on YouTube creating content. As said by Gary Vaynerchuk, these mediums are the networks and you are the show. They have the viewership, you just have to earn that primetime TV slot. And once you get prime time that’s when all the sponsorship deals, fame, and interviews start rolling in.
We are talking and interacting with people that we know. Sharing pictures and videos with the people we’re connected with. Everything we post is as if we’re having a conversation with them. The sweet thing is these conversations aren’t limited to one-on-one interactions. All of my posts have the capability of being extended to my whole audience.
If your business does something for a customer/client that stands out to them, they will post it on social media – just like how 20 years ago they would tell their friends. That’s word-of-mouth, telling ALL of their friends, whereas before they would tell one person, then another one, and maybe get the word out to about 10 people.
Then when these companies get onto social media they treat it completely wrong. I’ve seen it so many times. Social media is a whole new way for you to interact with people and you should treat it just as if you would treat any other form of interaction. By this I mean, you want to talk to someone who has something interesting to say. The people you like the most are the people that listen to you and talk about things that are relevant to your interests.
If you have a business turning to social media to, “sell sell sell”, no one’s going to be interested in what you have to say. No one will want to join in on your conversation and engage with you just as if you were to talk to someone and constantly try to sell them. New technology is not hard, we just have to start thinking about it in the right context. It’s merely an extension to the way we act or have acted in the past.