Social Media Has Changed Everything

By on 03/26/2012

For a long time, the way to market something was to get a lot of money together, buy a lot of different type of advertisements (tv, radio, print, etc) to push it in front of as many people as possible. Some would call this “interruption marketing”. Try to get as much as possible in front of as many as possible, and hopefully get as much return as possible.

Then something changed – social media.

Social Media, talking specifically about Twitter for this blog, came on the scene. And what it did was to give the people a voice. What was once a one sided barrage of advertisements, became a conversation. What would once just be a conversation between friends or co-workers, now the average person has the ability to speak up and talk back with potentially huge audiences. A lot of companies didn’t and still don’t know how to deal with this.

Social Media is a huge opportunity for any business looking for an audience, but it works in a completely different way and isn’t just another advertisement space. You have to earn peoples attention, this isn’t something you can buy, Social media isn’t a “modern billboard” where you put something up and everyone has to see it. People can “un-follow” you in an instant. You have to earn their trust and get them to agree to be part of the conversation. The main reason for this, in my opinion is because for people your trying to reach, you are reaching into their personal life. This isn’t a impersonal magazine or TV ad, its their friend feed, or facebook page. This is where they and their friends/family converse and to be a part of that, they have to let you in.

To be a part of this, it requires a shift in thinking. As Chris Brogan said, be human first before being a company. Since a lot of our clients are small to mid-size businesses this is especially important. Your not just reaching out to “customers”, your communicating to your friends, neighbors and community. What you post online should be a reflection of this. Obviously, you can still post tweets about products, services, specials, and the like, but it must be done with moderation. Spreading posts out throughout the day/week lets people digest them without feeling overwhelmed or like they are having something pushed on them. Also the way your write must be considered. If a post sounds like it was automated, people will know. If it sounds like it was written by a real person, it will add an special touch for people. You must also be willing to respond to people who communicate with you, whether good or bad. If someone posts something about you, or asks a question, or even makes a complaint, be willing to respond in a personal way. This will help build trust and a personal connection with you and your brand.

In the end, the best thing to remember is that you are no longer just a “company” sending out an advertisement to a “customer”. Your two people having a conversation about a need that they have and about something that you believe in that will fill that need.

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One response to “Social Media Has Changed Everything”

  1. […] there will always be naysayers, for the most part, we all know how marketing has changed with social media. Let’s take a look at a few such […]

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