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Even though social media isn’t that new anymore in 2015, there are still plenty of brands out there, who forget about the social in social media and continue to mistake the whole thing for traditional advertising.
For it to be done right, I love to compare social media to a dinner party. The most successful social media participants behave like they are at a dinner party. With that in mind, how might it look if I’d invite some of those brands, that are on social but who could do better on social, to my dinner party? What might that conversation (unfortunately) look like? Let’s see…
Me: “Welcome, Brand 1. Thanks for stopping over.”
Brand 1: “I have received your message and we will get you an answer as soon as possible.”
Me: “What? Thanks, I guess.”
Brand 1: “No problem. We are here for you. 24/7.”
Brand 3 hands $50 to my wife to address the entire room at the same time.
Brand 3: “I’m so pleased to share my news with everyone.”
Me: “Oh great. What’s the news?”
Brand 3: “We are the best.”
Brand 2: “You guys are so self-promotional. Why don’t we do a quiz?”
Me: “That’s a great idea. What are the topics? Let’s get started.”
Brand 2: “Pop culture things. We can get started as soon as you give me your email address. That way we know who is playing and we can send everyone emails later.”
Me: “You already know me. I’m sitting right here.”
Brand 2: “I know, but I can’t email you more stuff with that information alone. There’s no such thing as too much email.”
Human friend 1: “At least he’s not asking for your home address, Christoph.”
Me: “Well, we are at my home. But yes.”
Brand 3: “Hello, my $50 of talking time has not yet been spent! Please pay attention to me…”
Me: “Brand 1, what else is new with you?”
Brand 1: (Silence)
Brand 1: (Silence)
Brand 2: “He only responds to people between 8-5 Eastern time. So you’ll have to wait until the morning.”
Human friend 1: “But he’s sitting right there. Strange.”
Brand 3: “Now, before I go, does anyone want to buy anything from me?”
Brand 2: “What do you all think about this topic…”
Human friend 2: “That’s very interesting. I think…”
Brand 2: “Wait, please leave your answer on my Facebook page.”
I’m sure you get the point. Social media is still way too much about selling something, forcing conversations into specific channels and being too market-y. It’s OK to sell, but not constantly. Not only. Participate in a conversation. Connect with people -wherever they are. It’s not all about the click or the impression. It’s about making an impression and being relevant. When we are relevant people might buy something from us.
Long-term engagement happens through meaningful connection and participation.