Guest Post: On Social Media, Caring Counts
Have you noticed how those in the “know” talk about social media with a twinkle in their eye, while the majority of today’s’ businesses are sporting much more of a “glazed-over” look? Well, here’s what they know that you don’t.
Social media is not a “place” or “thing,” it’s not an avenue to speak to an “audience” or even a “stump” from which to pontificate. Rather, what these people have realized very early-on is that social media is a place to listen and to build context. Most of all, it's a place to create the types of one-on-one relationships that require months of consistency, persistence, and old fashioned hard work to build.
Social media is a whole lot more about hustle, and a whole lot less about slick tools or automation. It’s a place to discover people’s interests, nurture real relationships, become a member of their inner-circle, and let them into yours. There’s isn’t an app for earning someone’s respect. There are, however, some basic guidelines that those who “get” social media have unilaterally used in their rise to becoming forces to be reckoned with. We’ve outlined four of them for you below.
Quality Over Quantity.
While the Gary Vaynerchuk’s of the world have amassed unimaginable numbers of followers, friends, and fans (945,282 twitter followers at the time this was written), he has spoken on multiple occasions about how that type of success was only achievable by first showing a very small group that he truly cared. He would spend hours a day seeking out wine lovers and honestly answering their questions, building his retail wine shop in New Jersey from a $3-million company to the over $60-million online wine juggernaut that winelibrary.com is today. It’s time to give less of a damn about the number of followers you have. It's time to care far more about what you can do for the people who have already raised their hands and said that they care about what it is you do. Care back, and the rest will happen for you.
Social Media CRM.
The concept of social media CRM/social profiling/social media mapping, is something we are really excited about. If you are not familiar with this concept, let me explain. Chances are, when you had your first look at social media you said something to yourself that sounded a whole lot like, “What the hell is this? Why would I ever care what these people had for lunch, or what “amazing” thing their cat is doing at this very moment?” Well maybe you should care a bit more about fluffy…and here’s why. It goes back to what those who have mastered social media understand better than 99% of those using it. Context is king.
A simple twitter search will get you 80% of the way towards seeing what people are interested in. But, it’s the why that builds context. This is powerful stuff once it’s understood and adequately implemented into the way you behave via social media. Social media CRM takes this enormous mass of contextual information, and converts it into a usable way to both remember (a feat in and of itself) and act upon it in a meaningful way to your customers.
Did We Mention People Matter?
Too often, the web is thought to be some sort of “magical” place where we all run one-man multimillion dollar businesses, and have 4-hour workweeks. But in tomorrow’s economy, one that "scratches" peoples "itch" for one-on-one relationships with brands, people matter…maybe more than ever. People, after all, are the one resource that can not be automated. Personal relationships are built only one way, which is with real, living, breathing people. I think this is an amazing thing. Every indication shows that people will be in demand again, and that we are right in the middle of a tremendously positive economic shift that should continue into the foreseeable future. But what if you are just a one-woman or man operation? Well, you are in the best position yet for shaping the way your business is perceived, along with how your company culture looks to the outside world when you eventually are in a position to bring on more people.
Remember the Real World?
If we are in fact, smack in the middle of a shift toward an increased demand for more personal interaction, we can’t dismiss the good that a handshake, look in the eye, and buying our customer a beer can do for moving those relationships ahead quickly. Of course, more and more businesses are doing work with people whom they may never actually meet face to face. That's certainly the case for our company, Magnetic MarCom. But that’s not to say that these same principles cannot be translated to an online economy. In fact, I firmly believe that it will be those companies that can use the context they have built online to connect with their customers offline as well, who will build long-lasting relationships the fastest. Remember, people live their lives outside of their 27” monitor.
About the Author:
Mike Cerio is co-founder of Magnetic MarCom and Juicebox Branding. If you're feeling ambitious, he invites you to sign up for his free, email course 30 Days to Better Inbound Marketing. Get more from Mike and Magnetic MarCom on Twitter and Google+.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/kittisak