Work on the ‘Social’ Part Of Social Media

Work on the ‘Social’ Part Of Social Media

The title 'Social Media Expert' (or guru, genius, etc) has become an oxymoron. What most of those titles really mean is that they know how to use Twitter and Facebook and, judging by the numbers of users, that could be everyone. These purported "Social Media Experts" are focused on getting your message out, but that's just the Media part of Social Media. All they are is just another bull horn yelling out the same things over and over while getting your hopes up that someone will be interested.

What should you focus on? Your primary focus should be on the social aspect. Anyone can bark about their offers and discounts, but to generate interest in your products and services people want to know you care about what they think and what they're doing. Be a person. Act like a person. You are not an autonomous robot that says the same programmed and scripted thing over and over about your products and services offline, are you? If you wouldn't treat your spouse, children, family and other friends like that then, why on earth, do you think it will work on the web?

Here's a real life example that may seem unrelated, but is applicable to my main topic here:

Baseball and Lego Star Wars

One thing I absolutely love doing is coaching my son's baseball team. I love watching him and his teammates grow, play and have a blast in this sport we love so much. The most important thing I've learned when you are teaching children how to play baseball is that it's not all about baseball. One example is a boy we have that had never hit off of a pitching machine before. He was terrified. He kept striking out because he was nervous and uptight and was extremely hard on himself about it. After our second game, I asked his parents what he likes to do or talk about outside of baseball. They gave me a topic that my son also loves: Lego Star Wars. So I had a talk with our struggling hitter before he was about to go hit: "So I hear you like Lego Star Wars." You should have seen the grin on his face and his body language. His entire body relaxed as we talked about Yoda, Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca. Before, he didn't listen to my instruction as much because he had a certain way he wanted to do it. Now, he listens and follows through because he trusts me and knows I can help him. (Outside of my son, he is now one of our most consistent hitters and is now hitting to center field.)

Back to Social Media

THAT is what social media should be to you. You should be developing relationships with people to help them where they are. Making money will come, but if you don't build relationships with people like a normal human should, you'll just be striking out time after time. You will get frustrated and move on to the next big media channel hoping it will magically change things for you.

Focus on the social part and build trust just by listening and conversing with people. Be patient. They'll call on you because they now know and trust you.

Image: Rob Young, "LEGO Star Wars Episode I - A New Hope", via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution

Posted by Eric Carroll on 06/01 at 10:39 AM in Social Media

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