How To Make Your Business More Awesome

Just recently I ran across a pretty entertaining cartoon here which I think sums up how many companies, unfortunately, approach social media. You probably have such companies hammering your email inbox or Facebook news feed with messaging that is entirely about them, how great their product/service is, etc., etc.

I’ve told several that it seems that many use the social web as a big, giant classified section in which to push their agenda and frankly it gets old and tiring wouldn’t you agree? There are moments when it comes off smacking of desperation – each message is likened to some kind of ‘hail Mary’ attempt in which to land that next sale.

The companies that are most successful at leveraging their social media efforts are doing just the opposite – they are about the business of trying to earn trust with their community. These folks are simply taking tried and true relational principles and moving them into their efforts in building a solid, social, business network online. The focus is placed on the community and not entirely upon the business.

And just how are they achieving all of this? Their messaging is about attempting to be helpful. In some respects it is somewhat counter-intuitive and is ‘others-centered’. It is a strategy built on the premise that answering questions, attempting to meet needs and providing consistent, relevant information to their constituents gets the most traction in terms of attracting a following and earning the right to be heard. It’s a ‘pull’ not a ‘push’ message.

This might be a good example – let’s use a local car dealership for example and maybe list some topics they could speak about rather than pummel their audience with how fantastic their particular models are the best to be bought:

  • What steps to take to get your vehicle ready for winter?
  • Why it’s a good practice to have your oil changed every [mileage entered here]
  • The advantages of keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure
  • How to get the best fuel efficiency out of your vehicle
  • Take common, maintenance related questions and answer from the community
  • What to look for when buying a new car
  • How to know you’re getting a good deal on a car purchase

Contrast the above with a social media strategy that is self-serving and consistently pushes out messages to its community that are oriented around getting people to drop what they are doing and come in and make a purchase.

Which, in your mind, is really and truly working hard towards earning your business? Do you see the attractive nature of developing content that is seen as helpful and meeting needs? Can you sense the ‘pull’ effect?

Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with inserting messages about your products or services just so long as the majority of what goes out is not about you. Some say that a good ratio might be 10:1.

Start today and re-examine what kind of strategy and tactics your business is employing and make corrections where needed. If you’re not sure where exactly to begin try asking your community what they’d like to hear from you, what questions you can answer – where’s the itch they have you can scratch?

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