Social Media will not work for you, if you’re not YOU!

Posted on August 2, 2012 
Filed Under General, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building

social-media-humanPeople often treat powerful things that they don’t understand with an air of mysticism. In today’s digital age, social media is often treated with reverence – and mystery. People don’t quite know what to make of it or how social media can help their business. Yet they treat it as if it were a magic pill that could solve all their customer relationship and marketing troubles.

I’ve got bad news for you: Social media is not magic. You can’t wave a Twitter wand and watch all your customer complaints disappear overnight. You probably won’t launch a viral video that’ll get 10 million views in the next week either.

The truth is that for most businesses, social media isn’t a magic pill. Instead, to succeed in social media you need to connect with your human side.

Most Businesses Focus Too Much on Revenue

It’s natural for businesses to treat each marketing avenue in a methodical way. Just as you might ask what the ROI is for your banner advertising, it makes sense to ask the same question of social media. You might measure this not only in terms of money, but in manpower and energy.

Unfortunately, that’s not how social media works. Social media is a relationship building tool. It’s like trying to measure the ROI on going to networking minglers. You might not see a return on that mingler for two years – then a contact that you met through that mingler might become your biggest customer.

Social media requires that you think in terms of connections rather than in terms of revenue.

Tactics and Tools Are Not the Answer

The latest Twitter “virality tracking tool” or the latest “get 10,000 YouTube views” service is not the answer to your social media woes. Many webmasters tend to focus too much on their tools or their tactics.

At the end of the day, tools and tactics can only amplify what you have at the foundation of your social media: The connection you have with your audience. How much your message resonates with people? If your message doesn’t resonate, it doesn’t matter what tools or tactics you use.

What Kind of Message Resonates for People?

The bottom line is, people want to feel like they’re connecting with something real.

If they’re connecting with a real person, they want to feel like they’re getting a sense of that person’s personality. They want to get the sense that the person is sharing who they are through their content.

What if it’s a company? The idea is still the same. People want to feel like they’re hearing from a real person who’s letting real personality shine through. For a good example of this in action, take a look at Taco Bell’s twitter feed. Taco Bell is a gigantic food corporation, but still writes highly personable, personality-filled tweets out to their users. Click here to read the best of Taco Bell’s Twitter account.

What Does it Mean to “Stay Human?”

Staying human means two things:

1) Allowing other people to interact with your real personality. That means not hiding behind a corporate personality and not using tools to replace your human interactions.

2) It also means realizing that you’re interacting with other human beings. It means you can’t just treat your followers like statistics. They aren’t just your follower count, your fan numbers, your virality statistics or your open rates. They’re real people on the other end.

That means sometimes what’s called for is one on one outreach. Sometimes it means admitting when you made a mistake. Sometimes it means writing a spontaneous post when you’re very excited about something.

It means having a more direct connection with your followers.

Let People Connect With You, Not Your System

Having a system to manage your social media is a great thing. Scheduling tweets allows you to save time and using tools allows you to manage multiple feeds with greater efficiency.

However, when it comes to the actual one on one interactions, you need to be able to fully give your attention to your followers. When people interact with you, reply. When people @mention you, @reply back. Check your Direct Messages and answer questions when people get in touch with you. In other words, be a real human being, not just a set of social media tools and strategies.

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