by Paul Friend, Friendly Consultancy of Derby
Spam is marketing gone wrong and spammers are the much-hated scourge of the Internet – and the social media realm is no exception. Most potential customer will try hard to evade these spammy interactions. When marketing your business, you want to avoid being viewed as a spammer, as no long term engagement will follow.
But how do you avoid that pitfall and still use social networking as a tool to market your business
Three words: Be Genuine. Be Patient
Many many experts will tell you, social networking is all about making connections and building long term relationships. As any top salesman worth his salt will tell you, “You’re not selling a product, you’re selling yourself.” Which is the essence of a brand, are you buying an iphone, or the apple philosophy? Social media platforms are all about authenticity. Branding couldn’t be easier for those willing to open themselves up and truly connect with their potential clients. If they are prepared to be patient.
Be Real – Connect with people by sharing who you are, your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Don’t project a false “image”—sooner or later, you’ll be found out.
Have Conversations – Participate in and create discussions that are stimulating and informative. Spreading ideas and providing respectful and thought provoking debate can get you noticed.
Build Relationships – The most loyal of customers are people who know and trust you.
Don’t Pitch – No one likes a salesman, so save the pitches for the car lot. Trust that you have the “right stuff” (a unique service, product or perspective) that will draw those who need that “stuff” to you.
Listen & Be Helpful – If you are listening to what people have to say about their likes, dislikes, needs and desires, you will know better how to serve them. You might also know how to help them solve a problem. When you give, you get in return.
Provide Value – Whenever you do post something, make sure it’s something of value. Whether it’s a witty status update that brings a smile and leaves them with a little piece of your personality or a quick blurb and link to a relevant article, make sure you’re not only making contact but sharing something valuable. Can it brighten their day, teach them something, get them in on an incredible deal? Then it has value. People prefer value over bottom barrel prices.
No Expectations – Don’t have expectations for how and when people should respond to what you give, building any relationship takes time. They may not need you today but they might tomorrow. The person they trust the most, who is freshest in their mind, gets the business or referral.
Spamming is very recognizable. That’s why email servers have created a file and filters to catch it. You don’t want to end up in the SPAM file. Provide value, practice authenticity, care about people, and you should do just fine.