Columbus, OH – September 23, 2012
A Cease and Desist Order has been issued by the Federal Circuit Court requiring an immediate stop to the use of Sales Grenades as part of all social media communications efforts.
Don’t we wish.
Imagine how it would go if you went to a networking event, walked around and just spouted out some sales blurb at everyone you saw. Just walked up to someone said, “You really should call us; we do great work!” and walked away.
That’s the approach too many companies are using on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They know they should be using social media and they know it has helped other companies grow, but, lacking a strategy or an understanding of how conversations work in this arena, they just shout sales platitudes (we’ve nicknamed ’em Sales Grenades) all day long. Then they wonder why no one is responding.
So, what’s a viable approach?
First accept one basic premise…social media is about having a conversation with an audience, admittedly an asynchronous one, but a conversation nonetheless.
It you accept that premise, think through the best conversations you have anywhere. What makes them work? Why do you enjoy them?
Now think about making conversation work in social media:
- Have something to say that is genuine and interesting.
- Share an article, thought or story that people may want to hear, and listen for their responses. Realize that sometimes the best way to listen for responses is to track activities related to your efforts. If you don’t track your efforts then you are not listening and certainly not learning.
- You can also rely on the fact that most people want to learn and get better at what they do. They also want to know what their colleagues — and competitors — are doing in the marketplace. Think about using social media to facilitate those kinds of conversations.
At the end of the day, just like a person standing on the street corner yelling out his message (or blurting sales hype at a networking event), if you don’t have something of value to offer, people will just pass you by. You would be better off just keeping your mouth closed.
Photo Credit: Pierre-Félix So