Is Social Media Broken?
It’s just a little over ten years old, and social media is acting like the preteen brat it is. Oh, it’s got a good side too, and a lot of potential for endearing charm with the right guidance. But can it make you money?
Possibly, but here’s the issue: The distance between what marketers want from social media – and how consumers actually use social media – is a pretty sizeable gap. To close that gap, marketer John Jantsch recommends five practices:
Get Smaller. The time of trying to grow large followings is so five years ago. It’s better to have 100 true fans rather than a follower count filled with people who aren’t in your market or otherwise interested in your products or services. Getting a big following did not turn out to be the same as growing a large email list (there’s still cash in the list; in the followers – not so much).
Tell Stories. Janstch says, “Stories help make the complex understandable, and they help people connect with emotion – which is the essential ingredient for attraction, loyalty and referrals.” Tell customer success stories or share stories of the heroes on your team and how they selflessly went above and beyond the call of duty during a customer emergency.
Show Your Face. Use the visual platforms to be authentic (think Facebook and Instagram). Let people see the real you. (Sort of… To a degree. Or at least let them see the real you cleaned up.)
Have conversations. Ask questions that can help you learn more about your customers – what they want, what they don’t want, what they’d like to see. Keep talking even – especially – if they bring up negatives.
Make an impact. As you build relationships based on paying attention and being genuine, Janstch says, “You’ll identify mutually beneficial opportunities that lead to customers and sales, and if you keep at it, repeat sales and referrals.” In other words, you can sell if you take the time to meet your customers overarching needs.