Looking for your fifteen minutes of fame online? Big sigh everyone… There is no easy way to get noticed by the media. There is no easy way to have your event sponsored. There is no easy way to win the hearts and minds of social networkers. Reality is social media is no different than traditional marketing. And while passing out flyers on the street might be a bit passé, the fact remains the same. Nothing in life comes easy, not even in the digital world.
So what then? Give up and shelve your e-strategies for another day? No. Not at all. But in order to get followed and read online you’ve got to understand the game.
1. Intrigue Over All
If your tweet, post, picture, online ramblings are not interesting, then forget about it. I don’t care if you have the broadest audience or your upcoming event, launch or product is amazing—if you can’t present it in a way that gets people intrigued, who cares. In theory, your message should target your audience, but beyond this it has to be written and presented in such a way whereby your audience actually wants to read it. How do you do this? Look at your industry shapers—what are they saying, who’s responding? Look at industry wannabes—what have they said and what worked best? Observe your competitors, observe marketers and see how they sell it. Is it with humour? As a quote or a fact? Are their messages diversified? Take note and take notes. And then do what suits you best. It’s not about imitation but finding what works for you.
I’ve been following Stacey Parks (of @filmspecific) for a few years now. I love this woman. She writes blog posts on film, does podcasts, and supports her community—all while promoting her own services. I don’t care too much about the latter because she’s all about balance. She gives great insight into a world I’m still figuring out, without being over the top. I recommend you check her out.
2. Develop It and It Will Come
Before you get all bogged down with a million social media accounts, ask yourself—what am I doing? Who do I want to reach? Are my messages boring or would someone want to retweet it or comment on it? Am I providing what others are already doing, or am I unique in my voice, my writing style, my approach? Be different. That doesn’t mean write a bunch of nonsense, but figure out what you’re after before writing up your posts in 140 characters or less. Also, understand that once you’ve figured it all out, you’ll reinvent it once again. Marketing is about patience and approach. If it’s stale, change it up. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it—but remain current.
When I first started out with e-marketing, I was bombarding everyone and everything. Not the best method! But soon after I realized it’s a dance. I want people to dance with me. I don’t care to wait for an invitation or to dance the jig. Instead, I’m creating my own space and seeing who wants to join me. Still I’d have to say networking offline is the best for building connections. Variety is the spice of life.
3. To Do It or Not Might Be the Question, but Nothing Happens Overnight
I used to post quite often on Twitter. I would plug my projects on Facebook. And send out a pic or two on Instagram. In the past few months I’ve taken a back seat to social media. Why? One, I’m a little bored by it all. Two, there is a lot of noise and self-plugging (not to mention hot air) on e-networking sites. And three, I’m busy! So I had to take a breather and reflect on my efforts. Do people care about what I’m saying? And more importantly, do I? Why am I saying this all… It’s about the long run. You might love it, then hate it, despise it and then love it all again. But the real purpose of this all is to engage with people and to grow awareness (of you, your company and so forth) on a dime. Social media is a variation of traditional marketing. It is a tool to reach your audience, strike up conversations and debates, to build bridges and exchange ideas. It is not a shapeless space where you suck up to industry influencers and send unnecessary at tweets or links to your press releases. If you’re game to create networks and relationships over time, go for it. If you’re after instant business buddies and a gazillion followers, remember growth doesn’t happen overnight. You want quality over quantity. You’re looking for longevity not a one-hit wonder. Food for thought.
Now, I have dabbled with social media for the last few years. And in doing so have created lasting relationships out of genuine intrigue and by supporting like-minded (and goal-oriented) social media-ers. I’ve also pissed off a few with my chatter and self-promotion. Find the balance, realize it’s no different than real pick up the phone marketing and that everything in this world takes time, and a lot of effort!
I wish you all the best in your business endeavours and here’s to a fantastic holiday season! Got any questions for me? Hit me up on (of all things) Twitter @nadatodo.