… and coming up for air after the better part of two months. It’s been an extended slog.
Which is, no doubt, what everyone says who didn’t pop into this world with smart phone in hand and networking buzzwords tattooed in the brain. Which means most of us.
Nevertheless, the “social” approach to business, life, and everything is here to stay.
Of course, most of us were already “social” — it’s just recently exploded as the way to get anywhere or do anything.
Which is why it helps to dive in deeply on occasion, see what the fuss is about, and gain a bit of perspective.
Storytelling. Tweets. Content marketing. Friends. User-generated content. Likes. Retweets. Video. Blogging. Plus-1. Connections, connections, connections.
Even Google’s latest algorithm update includes a “freshness” value, which implies that websites showcasing continually updated, relevant content (about your product, service, offer) — often in the form of blog posts, Twitter feeds, Facebook or Google+ pages, and such — will be the most helpful to online searchers.
Like many “new” new things, social offers the temptation to get swept up in the latest gee-whiz, gotta-have-it wave. That’s especially enticing for business owners, marketing professionals, kitchen-table or garage-band start-ups, independent contractors, what-have-you, and organizations of every kind.
But after all the hoopla subsides and we work our way through the jargon, we come back to that old standby: the product, the service, the offer.
Are you creating and delivering something of quality, something that someone wants to buy, something that someone is buying? If so, you’re already ahead of the game.
In fact, two branding/marketing agency professionals — Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen — argue in FastCompany’s Co.design that three of marketing’s four P’s (promotion, place, price) are dead and that “only product matters.” Naturally, pushback ensued, but the discussion continues and adds value to the initial premise. That’s social media in action.
Despite the seemingly pervasive pressure to jump all directions at once, get on the social media bandwagon, and create a virtual presence everywhere, it pays to focus on your core business and take the time to be thoughtful about the rest.
After all, social media are simply tools. Different (maybe “new”) outlets you can use in many productive ways.
The most basic social approach can be to open a conversation with people who currently purchase from you or use what you offer — via your website or blog and on platforms where you know they live. If you respect who these folks are and what they say, they may then invite their friends and professional contacts to check out your offer.
You don’t need to be everywhere, just where your best customers are. So take time to explore, think through your options, and speak with them as colleagues.
Creating valuable content, products, and/or services is your most important activity. (Marketers generally agree!) Word about your awesomeness then spreads on its own — with maybe a judicious bit of social boost.
If you build it well, talk about it properly, and give people a reason to care, they will come.
What’s your approach?
©2011 Jill J. Jensen / Clarity from Chaos