I have been watching the social media niche now for a couple years. I have watched businesses jump into social media because it was the trendy thing to do. Then once they joined the party they either became the progenitors of the bulk of the business spam that exists online or they got discouraged by the apparent lack of instant results and abandoned social media with a bad taste in their mouths.
The problem? Most business owners don’t understand social media and assumed that just having a few free accounts out there would bring business their way. Their tweets, status updates, pictures, etc. were all about them their businesses and what they had to sell you. In other words, they used social media simply as a platform to flood the internet with more sales ads and sales letters.
What these business owners didn’t understand is that social media is really about being social, not about being a salesperson. Think of the people you least like to be around in a social setting. They are the loud and obnoxious folks who are always excited about their latest product of service. They seem to always be closing and in doing so making the whole social event uncomfortable.
Online social networking is also made uncomfortable by people who are the same way. They will friend you if they can then spam you with one sales pitch after another. They will never give you any information of value without a price attached. They seem pushy and uncaring with regard to things truly social.
Real success in social media has a two pronged approach. The first is content. If you make valuable content available to your social media friends they will want to hear from you and will become comfortable with you and they way you “sell” yourself.
The second is conversation. People are involved with social media because they want to establish relationships, not because they want to be overwhelmed with spammy sales letters. If your posts, comments, tweets, and status updates are not relational in nature, you will be minimized if not simply blocked.
So, before you either jump in or jump out of social media consider these two key ingredients and whether or not you are participating in the most successful ways.
To your success ….