It’s interesting, really. Take a minute and think about the conversations you had today. Got ‘em? Ok good.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the conversations you really remember were because the person you talked to was either invested in the conversation, gave you valuable information, or a combination of the two. You see, when it comes down to it, this is what we long for in conversation. Someone to truly listen to us, and someone to give us help or guidance in different situations. It isn’t selfish to want to get something out of your conversations.

I also have a hunch that you probably have no desire to have coversations with a person who always tries to sell you something. It’s terrible and I’m not convinced it isn’t one of the worst things in the world (ok maybe this is a slight over-exaggeration, but you get what I mean).

So why is it, as marketers, we try to push our products on those who decide to do us a favor and follow us on various social media channels? I mean, really!? Social media was created to connect people. To create conversation. To solve problems. While I firmly believe social media provides one of the greatest ways for businesses to connect with customers, it aches me to watch it done so poorly day in and day out. I follow all sorts of blogs, social media groups, etc, and they are all full of people asking how they can grow their following to build a larger customer base. And then when you look at these companies’ social account, it’s full of nothing but product pushes!

Here’s a crazy thought. What if businesses used their social accounts to…wait for it….have valuable CONVERSATIONS with people? Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty that do this so well and are great models to follow. But so many companies miss out on this. They use social media as a free billboard, and that is missing the point. Use it to create conversations. Use it to bring value to your customers. If they are giving you a follow, give them something in return. Give them value. Don’t constantly ask for things from them.

I still have so much to learn when it comes to marketing, but I can’t help but think that bringing value to your social audience can’t do anything but help your brand. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out Gary Vaynerchuk…that guy hits it on the head and lives it every day. I am a loyal viewer of the #AskGaryVeeShow because it brings me VALUE. He doesn’t ask for anything in return, and because of that, I will promote him and recommend his books and blogs to every marketer I know.

What if you implemented this in your social strategy? It may be out of your comfort zone, but it just may be effective. I think you will be very happy with the results, and you may just grow your audience. So go have valuable conversations and let me know how it goes, because I’m always here to chat.

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