Dear social media marketer,
Pardon me while I vent for a moment …
You see, I’ve been following you on social media for a while. I’ve used your product, and I like it. So I decided to follow your brand.
I regret that now.
I understand you are a business. You need to pump up your visibility. You need to be where your customers are. You need to sell more product. I get all that.
But lately you’ve been getting on my last nerve.
What is with all the junk you are posting in my social media feed? You’re ruining my social experience. It’s like you’re tone deaf.
It reminds me of something that happened the other day at the restaurant. I eat there a lot. It’s one of my favorite places. But this time the experience sucked.
It started out with the waitress bringing my salad at the same time as the entre. Lousy timing.
Then it got weird. Five minutes after I started my salad, she returned. “Are you thinking about dessert tonight?” she asked.
Confused, I looked at my untouched entre. “Um, no. I’m thinking about eating my steak next,” I replied. “Okay, let me know when you’re ready,” she said rushing off to another table.
Then it got weirder.
She came back after another 10 minutes. While chewing my steak, fork in hand, she interrupted our conversation and asked if she could clear my plate from the table. “No,” I said mildly annoyed. “I’m still eating.”
The whole experience was marred by interruptions, out of context conversation, trying to upsell me on something I didn’t want, and the rush to complete a transaction.
A customer’s advice for social media marketing
That’s what it’s like following you on social media. And that’s why I’m not going to do it anymore.
No hard feelings. I’m sure you are all good people. You just don’t know how to act on social media.
But just so our relationship doesn’t end on a completely negative note, let me offer you some advice so you don’t lose more followers/customers. Do this and you’ll fare better in the future.
Stop with the interruptions
What’s the fastest way to show the world you are a social media neophyte? Treat it like a broadcast channel. This ain’t mass media. I go on social networks to be social, not to shop. Don’t interrupt my social experience with your commercial pitch. One-way mass communication does not resonate on social media. No matter how loud you yell, or how often.
Start conversations, build relationships
Instead, why not interact with me? Social media is the perfect channel for having direct conversations with your target audience, learning how we feel and why we feel the way we do. When you show up regularly and help as many people as possible – without a hidden agenda – you build trust and likeability. Over time, these conversations can form a relationship that makes me want to buy from you.
Don’t rush me into buying
It takes time to build a relationship with me on social media – or anywhere else. You can’t do it with short-term campaigns and short-term goals. Instead of thinking about what you need, think about what you can give that is interesting, helpful, useful or valuable to me. Let’s become friends on social media before you start talking about the products you offer.
Let me end by saying this:
It sounds crazy, but you have to intentionally promote yourself less. I know that goes against the way you’ve always done things before. And that’s my point.
Marketing on social media is not like the “good old days” where marketing activities and outcomes followed a linear path. Now it is about building relationship equity by creating social experiences with your audience. That is a fluid, long-game strategy. There’s no short-game alternative.
Give me a social experience or I’ll just leave.