Don’t Sanitize your Social Media Presence

Social Media works for connecting people – Don’t sacrifice the “Social” for “Marketing”

Every day I hear Social Media “Experts” talk about strategy, strategy, strategy and nobody dares to ask what that actually means. I wonder if anybody really knows?  The same experts usually claim that every update in Social Media networks should conform to this strategy. If you look at their own tweets they are sterile, perfectly crafted, scheduled and placed. The questions they ask look forced, like they are copied and pasted out of someone’s free “How To Make Money With Social Media” e-book.

I will tell you a secret: When I see someone that has only these kind of sterile updates in their Twitter or Facebook streams I file them under “Guess I should follow them but don’t expect a human conversation.”

Don’t get me wrong – I do schedule updates and I am guilty of using Twitter as a RSS feed too often. We all get pulled into self promotion sometimes. I’m also glad I still have my private Twitter account @frith64 where I chat about my hobbies and my political opinions.

But! Remember that it’s people that make purchasing decisions, not search engines and not analytics. After all the glitter is gone, consumers as well as B2B (business to business) decision makers are human beings – Social Media works when we manage to establish a direct or indirect personal connection.

People want to connect with People!

Now I already hear those who are going to remind me of ROI figures used to sell Social Media campaigns. Don’t get me wrong – there are hard cold numbers that prove that Social Media helps sales. The more important effect of Social Media is ROA (Return On Attention)  – building a human image of a brand that cares about its partners, its community…. the humans in the supply chain.

I’m (not) sorry if these statements are out of tune with many of the Social Media experts out there. It’s hard for any marketer to make the switch from push marketing to social interaction.

Here is what I suggest (and my Social Media coaching clients hear this often):

Be human!

  1. “Fear is the path to the dark side” ~ Yoda – Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Mistakes are human
  2. YOU are your brand! People buy your product/service because they are convinced that you care most
  3. People want to connect with humans on Social Media, otherwise they would take an easier path and buy through traditional channels
  4. YOU are a consumer too – examine what makes you decide on a product or service, what makes you want to connect with someone on Social Media and then emulate what you like
  5. Go ahead – blur the lines between business and your personality and enjoy the long term effects
  6. Social Media is real life and everything goes easier if you have fun with what you are doing

 Let’s put the FUN back into Social Media!

Have a look at the two recent outstanding Social Media Success Stories: Google+ and Pinterest. If you listen closely to the early adopters they will tell you that what they enjoy most is the human interaction and the fact that marketers haven’t found a way to turn the new platforms into push-marketing machines.

I dare you, Social Media Experts: Let me know where I am wrong – give me a good reason to clean up my tweets!

I ask you humans on the Interwebs: What do you think?

PS: Thank you Aaron Lee for sharing the following blog post on your Facebook Page16 Terrible Social Media Mistakes You’re Making and triggering this rant 🙂

Published by Frithjof

Digital media strategist, coach, community manager and CEO of BlueBird Business Consulting. Blogger, podcaster, content creator and teacher with a passion. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis

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  1. I’m certainly no Social Media Expert, but I completely agree with you. With few exceptions I follow people on Twitter who follow back, and I stop following people who use Twitter and Facebook to announce things rather than to chat about things.

    1. Thanks for your input Cate! It’s hard to resist the pressure do self-promote all the time.
      I firmly believe that in not too long Social Media users are going to learn to filter out stale, calculated messages just the same as we do today with TV commercials.

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