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It is always a good thing to remind others that Social Media Marketing takes good planning and execution. It is a commitment we must keep with ourselves in the interest of our business and its customers. You get out of it what you put into it and it takes time and effort. The tips given are usually - or should be - intuitive. Basically, it all boils down to this: GIVE THE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT. If your engagement is friendly, authentic, passionate and valuable, it will all pay off for you in the end.
Marc LeVine (@icanewfriend)
I also think that making things a bit harder are all of the books and articles now available in the public domain, designed to teach marketers how to sell to people, who are strictly online to socialize.
The worldly-wise and well informed "everyman (woman)" has caught wind that after the "value proposition," a sales pitch may follow. They may be more leery about those seemingly being knowledgeable, transparent, authentic and genuine. The books and newspaper articles out there warns that they may be looking to eventually sell them something.
If we were to monitor the receptiveness levels (to business-themed messages) by people engaged on social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter from day one to the present; what might the trending line look like?
I see more and more people "shutting down" as soon as someone shares a post or tweet that is geared to what they do for a living. More so, than when the post is geared to pleasantries, humor or hobbies. In other words, I don't see them being as impressed and congratulatory as they have once been evidenced by them NOT clicking on industry news or press releases about their friend's recent hire, promotion, award, new business venture or similar. Things that used to elicit "Congratulations!" from friends are increasingly being ignored and passed over in Social Media. I think - because people do not want to feel obligated to eventually do business with or recommend their friend to others.
Is it just me, do does anyone else see a similar change in people's growing skepticism about the business-related intention of others, online?
Companies like Facebook (Wait a minute! There are no other Social Networking companies in FB's league) need to be careful not to buy every "pet rock" or "clackers" that appear on the scene.
IMHO, Instagram is a one trick pony - a fad. A successful fad, but still something that doesn't appear to have "legs" for a marathon - just a sprint. In doing my own research, I find many start-ups with photo gimmicks that are similar to Instagram's.
That being said, Mark Zuckerberg has very deep pockets and 900 million "Likers", with 500 million of them returning daily. The purchase of Instagram is a financial drop in the bucket for him. It's just that I would hate to see Mr. Z engage in an "arms race" with the entire Internet leading him to purchase every little fad that comes along. Piling all of these fads into Facebook may tend to overwork the canvas and crowd out the ease of social interraction among friends. When all is said and done, this is why we all came to FB in the first place. As in most other life pursuits....sometimes less is more.
I find that many small business neophytes in Social Media Marketing end up throwing together a rag-tag following of assorted people (mostly friends and relatives), who are largely not interested in what the business has to offer nor are they very interested in talking about someone's products and services or introducing these business offerings to their network friends.
Do a quick reality check and invite your current friends to join your business page. See what percentage you can convert in that way. It is likely that only a small percentage of your current friends will take this action.
SMBEs should be targeting and building an audience made up of existing customers, potential customer prospects (mined from business related sources) along with any friends that they know are more likely to help spread the word throughout their own networks.
A related problem many SMBEs often have is failing to understand and embrace the "value principle" when it comes to building trust and authenticity among their target audience. Some go right to the sales pitch and quickly lose their audience. They fear giving too much information away for no immediate financial return. But this is how it works in Social Media. It takes time to convert people to buying customers and we all have to - first, -pay our dues by proving our expertise and ourwillingness to help others learn more about what they may or may not need to purchase.