Friday 27 September, 2013

Social Media You Love to Hate

Recent surveys have found that Facebook and Twitter are two of the most loved – and most hated – websites on earth. Considering the fact that they’re also the most used websites, this isn’t such a surprise. But why do we love/hate these websites so much? As a marketer, knowing how your customers interact on social media lets you know how to use the sites to engage them, so let’s give this some consideration.

Let’s Talk About Me

Perhaps the main reason people love Facebook and Twitter so much is because it gives them a chance to tell others about their favorite topic – themselves. Social media websites give us a great chance to indulge in our vanity and narcissism. By the same token, we hate to see that narcissism in others. We all have that friend who changes their profile picture to another glamorous headshot three times a day.

So, if you give your followers a chance to talk about themselves and keep your own self-promotion to a minimum, you’ll score points. Ask for your followers’ opinions, give them polls and surveys, and solicit their pictures and ideas. But keep your social media activity focused on them, not your business.

What Did YOU Eat for Breakfast?

One of the biggest pet peeves against social media sites is the incredible irrelevance of 99% of the content. I’m talking about the millions of daily reports of what your friends ate for breakfast or whatever mindless garbage they’re watching on TV. Twitter is especially bad about this. Many people zip through their Twitter feed looking for that one gem of actually interesting information that’s hidden there somewhere.

As a business that uses social media, keep your content useful, helpful, interesting and relevant. This is how you cut through the noise and reach your followers. If you do this, when you post or tweet, your followers will listen.

Wasting Time

Reports show that people hate social media because it wastes their time. Other reports show that people love social media – because it wastes their time.

So, what we can deduce here is that social media is good for time wasting, whether that’s what you want to do or not. If your business helps people waste time by giving them things to do, you’ll engage them. If you can waste their time in a way that’s highly entertaining or actually somehow constructive, you’ll do even better.

Real Connections?

Social media is supposed to make us feel more connected, but does it really? Most people feel that it doesn’t. Social interaction is superficial. You have 400 friends on Facebook, but so what? There’s still nothing like a real conversation with a living, breathing human being.

You can use social media to build a stronger, more personal connection with your customers. Rather than creating a page and expecting people to come to it, get out there and start conversations with other people. Send them messages and get some real conversation going. Be real and give your social media the personal touch and you can actually build relationships.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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