Who’s Afraid of Social Media?
March 1, 2012 1 Comment
Okay, hands up. Who’s afraid of blogging and social media?
Let’s be honest here. Do you sit at your desk trying to blog, or micro-blog, and realise you don’t have a thing to say?
Are you afraid to speak up because your customers will realise you’re not as smart as they think you are?
Does the thought of writing a witty stream of entertaining and informative material about your sector make you want to be physically ill?
The stats about entrepreneurs and blogging are quite clear. Whether you are Manchester United or a start-up solopreneur, you have to produce regular updated content to build your business.
(Here’s a quick reminder)
- 90% of consumers read blogs
- Over 70% of consumers read more than five blogs
- 100% of businesses that blog more than once per day received customers directly from their blog
- Businesses that blog are 4x more likely to be found on the web
- Businesses with blogs get 55% more traffic on average
The Shocking Truth About Social Media
Once you’ve gotten over the initial fear of putting it down and creating content, did you start by scripting up a few dozen posts on Twitter, posting up some product information on Facebook, or even craft a beautifully written post on the company blog …
And wait … And wait … And wait?
So you tried some more. You put up a company tour video on YouTube, post a slide share of your latest presentation and upgrade your profile on LinkedIn …
But you can still hear the tumbleweed blowing around your sites?
The truth is, the most disheartening aspect of social media for beginners is that when you publish, the crowds just don’t come (apart from your colleagues, your mates and your Mum).
How To End Blogophobia In 5 Minutes
The good news is that there’s nothing new under the sun. Social media is just another platform for networking, not selling, but properly engaging with potential prospects and getting them interested in YOU. And as a by-product, your product or service.
To prove that social media isn’t new. Here are a couple of examples.
The Perfect Diner Guest – This is a person who is really cool to know, friendly and shows an interest in you. They will pose interesting questions that may challenge you. They may show another perspective you haven’t thought about. But most of all, they’re good to be with.
What’s more, that person may work in an industry you may never need but their work sounds fascinating and interesting. And if anybody in your network needs a recommendation, you will always say,
“Yes, I know such and such. He seems actually lovely. I’m sure he’ll be able to give you a hand or put you in the direction of someone who can.”
The Perfect Blind Date – Again, she or he is somebody who is interested in you and your life, your challenges and dreams. A person who, whilst the ultimate chemistry might not be there, has been friendly, fun and good company. Most importantly, they’ll be somebody you’d recommend to your friends who might find that ultimate spark.
The Perfect Networker – Pretty much the same as all of the above.
Now let’s turn to their polar opposite: your worst nightmare of any of the three characters. Admit it, we’ve all met them. The me-me-me character at the table who considers everyone to be a willing audience to every fascinating thing that has ever happened to them. The sleeze-ball at the nightclub who’s desperate to score your number. The predator at the conference who hands out business cards to any random.
And so it goes with social media. In fact, the most followed people on social media are folk who are interesting because they are genuinely interested.
Successful people on social media build up relationships over time. They may not sell you anything but you would certainly recommend them in an instant because you’ve enjoyed their company (literally).
Brilliant networkers are people who give you a genuine sense of connection. Great bloggers build up their credentials, authority and trust with you brick by brick, tweet by tweet and post by post.
Sure, there are plenty of business that can buy Twitter lists and automate their updates to increase traffic. They can cajole 100s of their mates to spread their content assets all over the social media-sphere. They can even use lots of cute Search Engine Optimisation tricks to increase circulation.
While there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of sophistication in creating your social media juggernaut, the most effective way to gain brand fans is to be genuine and authentic as well as being a trustworthy and generous source.
Essentially, to win at social media you have to be good company.
As the old saying goes, people buy from people and companies they trust.
In other words, get your positioning and sociability stance right from get-go and the crowds will come. Hesitantly at first, but as their trust grows, your business will ultimately win the day.
Are You Ready To Build Your Tribe?
So get out there and be a good company that specialises in being good company.
Be the interesting person walking through ye olde market place. Greet your neighbours, congratulate and commiserate with your community. Pass on interesting information. Let them in to some secrets and gossip in the industry. Retweet their great posts and successes and comment on their blogs.
The precise ratio of engagement differs from expert to expert but the rule of thumb is roughly 4:1:1 or 3:3:3. For every one piece of fresh content you produce, make sure you do at least one ‘share’ and one reply.
And if you’re still struggling for something to say, simply use the ultimate marketing tool that has existed for time immemorial: Thank you.
Over to You
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