Don’t worry this isn’t a sales pitch, but rather a gentle reminder to rethink your online marketing message. With the social media sonic boom we have all experienced, there was (and still is) a mad rush to get on linkedin, facebook, start a blog, rethink your website content, etc and yet after the dust has settled, the ROI for all your efforts looks sadder than a cat soaked in water.
I believe the main reason for the lack luster return is we effectively took out the human element of our marketing messages. Our main focus has been to develop a message online created based on our assumptions, making it SEO friendly, and published in a automated format, almost slamming it in the face of any poor soul who decided to “content with or friend” you.
So What’s The Solution? It’s simple really. Stop selling and start listening. All of us have been taught that in order to be effective with Social Media, you have to put out content and hope that it sparks dialog and possible business. The problem is because we are really digging for new content, most of it isn’t any good. It’s true that you need to be active with content, but quality of the content is more important. What if for example, instead of posting where you are, what you are doing, or what sort of deal you are running, you decided to just sit back and start to listen to the people in your network talk. By listening we can know what everyone is looking for and how you can position your company’s services via an effective marketing message to grab their attention. The idea is to create content holding true to a specific message that directly brings value to the intended person. Quality of message rather than quantity.
Let’s get more specific. As an example, Linkedin is a great way to connect with others and constantly post all the boring things you are doing along with 90% of the other people posting similar posts. What if you decided to start digging around the “Answers” section and try to help someone out with a problem they are having without heavily promoting your business. Just simply helping without strings attached. What if you joined a group and did the same thing, but all you did was interact with others and got to know them a little more? Sounds like more work, but I can almost promise you that the results will be a lot better than just writing out a meaningless 140 character status.
If we keep to our simple old school ways of building strong relationships by listening to others, trying to help them, and ultimately providing tremendous value like we do outside of the online world, then the rewards are endless. Your company can develop a better marketing message based on what you hear is needed and at the same time, you are building a strong network of business relationships that can last forever.