It pains me to recommend an article that contains grammatical errors, however, the content is pretty good. Shame on the author and Forbes.com, though, for poor proofreading and using a negative headline.
Finger wagging is finished, for the moment.
Daniel Newman makes some great observations about how businesses often miss the benefit of using social media because they treat it as advertising instead of a venue for dialogue and authentic information sharing.
Yes, social media advertising exists, and there is a place for it, but putting “ad speak” (One Day Only! Prices Slashed! Too Much Inventory!) in Tweets and status updates essentially just creates background noise on those platforms that users will be in a hurry to tune out.
“Most people aren’t on social media to make a purchase,” Newman writes. “They’re there to interact with friends, and learn about the world around them.”
As I’ve noted myself in this space, think like a user, not as a business owner. Why do you use Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? Words such as “community,” “news,” and “ideas,” come to my mind. “Purchasing” happens on websites, through catalogs and at stores.
Depending on how comfortable you are with social media, this distinction may seem fuzzy. All the more reason to do some thinking, planning, and maybe consulting, before setting up that social media asset.
Here are some reminders on how to “engage naturally” as Newman puts it.
- Share something of yourself. Post about things that matter to you and ask followers to respond in kind.
- Share some of your expertise. Demonstrate knowledge of your business, the community, trends in your industry, etc.
Remember this post from last year that highlighted the transformation of River Pools? If you have yet to check out the video, I encourage you to watch it now. I guarantee you’ll be inspired and I bet you will get some ideas on how to create and sustain engaging content for social media.
If you think I’m harping on social media, well, you’re right. Check out this infographic from Marketing Profs and Morrison Foerster released Jan. 4 and you will see why.