Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Social Media like it's 2012

Quite often when speaking with clients, I run into folks who are more than intrigued about social media.  They hear about it everywhere they go and understand that they need to integrate it into their strategy, but somehow they're not sure about how it's supposed to work or what they're supposed to do.

I see examples of misuse where various SM platforms are used just like how one would a bus bench, or a billboard.  Essentially, folks are adopting new digital media tools whilst employing traditional marketing techniques.     

Don't get me wrong, I give props to those who have the courage to embrace change, especially in this field.  Social media can be confusing, at best, especially when you're new to it.  My friend Gene Kilgore would say to me, "Sometimes you just gotta put the saddle on the horse and go for it".  Therefore, to help with the transition, I thought it would be best to describe how it works using an analogy most of us can relate to:


You heard right.  Most of us have been to a party or a get-together (some of us more than others).  For those that haven't, well, you'll just have to take my word for it (and see about getting invited to a few).  With that context in mind, I'm going to draw some parallels:

1. You're the host/hostess.
Every party has a person that organizes and hosts the party.  That person is you.  You're hosting this party in hopes of meeting new people, networking, and making new connections.  You realize that you're not going to click with every single person at the party, but there's also a good chance of forging some good long-term friendships.

2.  Parties & get-togethers take place in different venues.
There's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, etc.  You don't need to host every single party out there, just the ones that make sense for you and your business.  Not everyone will respond to your invitation to your party, by the way.  The ones that find your party interesting will either follow, like, circle, or subscribe to you, depending on the venue. 

3.  Be a compelling & gracious host/hostess.
Acknowledge & interact with your guests.  Try not to monopolize any one guest to the exclusion of others.  Circulate.  Mix.  Participate.  Boring parties tend to lose people.  Lively parties attract people and helps spread the word.  Offer to help, connect & introduce people to each other.  Try to refrain from giving everyone that comes into your party your business card & your sales pitch, only do so if someone asks for the information.  Nothing kills a party faster than a host with commission breath!  

4.  Always thank your guests!
Your guests have taken time out of their busy schedule to join your party, thank them publicly.  Don't worry if people leave your party either.  The party may just not be a good fit for them!  

Now that you're in the party spirit, what plans do you have to liven up your party??

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