Social Media Marketing Part Two
Since 2006 I’ve been teaching students and clients how to fit in socially on the web. How to market without marketing. How to gain attention that would formerly cost tens of thousands of dollars in paid advertising without lifting a penny.
I’ve been telling people that they must first become a true member of social sites with their ideal customers as fellow members before they storm the gates with their direct, pushy sales letters.
There is a way to make social marketing pay off big and the key to it all is fitting in. Just like you did in high school when you wanted to be in a “group” whether it was the rat-toting DND nerds or the cheerleading squad.
A cheerleader wouldn’t be welcome in the DND group if she waltzed in with her pom poms and uniform. But a cheerleader could dress down and buy a rat and some funky dice and get in without a second look.
Then, if she wanted to change attitudes within the DND group about the snarky, stuck up cheerleading squad (her product) she would be listened to and taken more seriously as part of the group than as “one of them.”
The key is to not be seen as “one of those” marketers. You are, first and foremost, a person with interests, hobbies, a personal history, and hopefully something more to say than “my weight loss pills will have you looking like Hillary Duff in just 6 weeks!”
There’s much more to social marketing than just fitting in, but that’s the core value a professional social marketer adheres to above all else.
We don’t sell weight loss pills.
We do stories on people who are fit, attractive, happy and healthy. We circulate among the unfit and unhealthy and give them positive stories of success over disease. They then very naturally ask us how this person or that person accomplished such great things and we point them in the right direction.
And since we have a relationship with them, we don’t point them to weight loss pills and other snake oil that doesn’t work. We point them to things we’d recommend to people who can come back and find us and flame us if we steer them wrong. Social marketing means being genuine in every part of your business because you can be called on your bullshit and completely ruined by the masses if you’re caught screwing people over.
That’s why many marketers are up in arms over social marketing. They see that the entire process they are using to make money online is seen as evil to the people and they have no idea how to turn it around and make an honest, and far more lucrative, living on today’s web by being genuine and selling things that actually help people.
Take it from someone who has done it all over the last decade. Social marketing, once you catch the bug and learn to do it right, is the most freeing feeling a marketer can have on the web. It is very Zen-like. Especially for marketers who’ve had to do marketing the old fashioned way with traditional SEO and in-your-face direct sales.
There’s absolutely nothing like it out there. Its measurable (if you know what to measure), highly effective, and exacts far less pressure on both the marketer and the consumer. And what it creates is bigger profits, more interest, and the kind of attention, branding, and respect you simply cannot get with any other form of marketing.