There’s a saying that I’ve heard repeated at more than a couple of digital marketing seminars. It goes something like this: “Don’t act like a marketer. Act like a problem solver.“
The takeaway here is that far too often, small businesses try to push, push, push their message out to an audience via social media. What kind of response do you think they get from this? Exactly. Not a spectacular one.
Nobody actually wants to be on the receiving end of a sales pitch, especially when we’re on Twitter, Facebook or other social platforms. We’re there to connect with friends, learn new things, strike up conversations and seek out things that matter to us personally, oh and have fun.
So why do many small businesses still act like marketers via social media? That’s simple. It’s the only thing they know how to do. It’s what is comfortable. It’s their safe zone.
You see, that’s what traditional media was all about. Push out a message and see who bites. It was a giant sales pitch. And since traditional media was all one-directional, it worked. There was no expectation of striking up a conversation with a brand.
These days however, the tables have turned. If I wanted to, at this very moment, I could strike up a conversation with dozens of Fortune 500 brands on Twitter. Some play nice, others don’t. The bottom line is that many of the most successful businesses in the world have realized that the game has changed thanks to social media.
Getting back to the problem, if we’re not to act like marketers, how are we to act? The simple answer is like a real person!
Gary Vaynerchuk, the king of social media marketing has a saying that he often throws into his speeches. He says, “Marketers ruin everything.”
Marketers are all about the pitch. Don’t be that guy or gal. Be personable. Be human. And most importantly, try to solve problems by listening first and then responding.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Yes, this takes a heck of a lot of effort, but it is the only way to make social media work from a business perspective. You need to listen and solve problems.
Do this consistently and with a true concern for helping your audience and the game is yours.