Social Media: You’re (still) doing it wrong

Interesting conversation I was having last night. The topic of social media came up, and I promptly proclaimed that everyone is doing it wrong. The response was “I’m very interested in your product and would like your newsletter. Please tell me more”. Well, ok.

Let us begin by making sure we all understand 1 thing. Social Media is not internet marketing. Just because you have an email newsletter, blog, Twitter and Facebook account, does not mean you are “doing” social media. If you are using a marketing firm, not your own employees, to represent you online, you are not “doing” social media. If you only talk about yourself online, ignore comments and questions posted anywhere, then for sure you aren’t “doing” social media. That’s internet marketing.

This is one of the things that continues to bother me. Social media is about the conversation, it’s about making connections, about being social. Sometimes, social media is even about being in person, meeting people, kissing hands and shaking babies. That is social.

Internet marketing is all about you. What you can do, what you have done. You, you, you. Your email blast, blog posts of the latest thing you created or are selling. Linking those blog posts to Twitter and Facebook. All of that is not social media. That is internet marketing.

Social media is as much customer service as it is anything else. It’s listening. It’s acting. It’s knowing what your audience/customers want and giving it to them. It’s paying attention and helping your audience/customers become the best marketing tool anyone could ever hope for. An army of raving fans that enthusiastically spread the word of your brand to any and all that will listen.

That should be your end game. Raving fans.

Raving fans will give you the follower counts you so strongly desire. And the web traffic. And the re-tweets and shares. Because you have created something awesome that is share-worthy that your audience is excited about. And when you follow that with a presence ready to answer questions and accept feedback, no matter where it comes from, and are able to act quickly on that feedback, that is “doing” social media.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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