Would you go to a dinner party and announce upon arrival “Hi everyone, thanks for inviting me to the party, I don’t care about any of you, and please don’t talk to me, I’m just here to tell you what I think and to show off my new dress!”???
I hope not!!
And yet I often here people announcing this kind of ridiculous statement on social media forums. Social media was not created so that you could blast people with your marketing messages. It was created for you to be social and the same social etiquette that you would display meeting people face to face should be honoured. You learn a little about them, then you share a bit about you. You look to establish some common ground, build rapport and if you have a connection, you’ll probably follow that inkling and stay connected long after the party. If it turns out that there is value in doing business together – bonus!
Social media is a wonderful tool that allows you to cast your net far wider than these traditional face to face strategies, BUT, it’s still a two way street. Connecting, sharing information, asking questions, and yes making statements are all part of it, but attempting to use it as a one way street for marketing yourself or your business will lead to the ultimate social media fail! Nothing turns me off more than hearing people say “I caved” to social media. Then add to that, “I’m only here for marketing purposes”. Really?? That makes me think, “hmm, you’re running a business, and yet you can’t make decisions for yourself, you’ll resolve to being ‘bullied’ in to doing things and you take no ownership of your business development choices.
As a business coach and advisor to businesses all over North America I preach the same business fundamentals that have supported development since the beginning of time. Visibility (if no one knows you’re there, they can’t do business with you), Credibility (if you can’t do what you say you can, you’re dead in the water and it’s only a matter of time until you’re called out) Profitability (Yes, it’s true, you have to make some money), Sustainability (once you’ve built something profitable the next question should be: can it hold weight without you being there 24/7) and finally Scalability (Can you take what you’ve built and see it exponentially scale out through leveraging all your developed systems?)
Social media is another tool in an plethora of choices that support businesses in following these crucial steps. It’s not a quick fix, or a hail mary pass. It needs to be treated like every other tool. Learn how to use it, as it was intended, decide if that use fits for your business development model, if it does, choose to use it. Start walking with it, then jogging, and eventually sprinting along seeing it’s true power support your business development initiatives.
Don’t be the one sitting at home alone because you’ve been uninvited to the party.