12th Jan 2012
Let's imagine a simple scenario....
You have a business where you sell Management Consultancy.
You are invited by some new friends to go to a party where you know there are not many other people that you know.
So with some trepidation you go along and like many of us going into a new social situation, you are slightly nervous and you wonder whether you will meet like minded people who are friendly and interesting.
Well as is normal at parties, when you arrive, after the initial greetings, you are introduced to a couple who are friendly and who are happy to chat to you.... so after the initial introductions are made, you decided to tell people all about you, your business and you tell them about the latest special offer you are running and how you only have a small amount of availability so they must decided by the end of the night whether they will accept your offer or lose the chance to get this once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the leading Management Consultant in their area.
The couple politely inform you that they have sold their business and since retired. They then politely make their excuses and leave you to your own devices!
Undeterred, you wonder over to a man whose wife has got chatting to some other people so you grab your chance and introduce yourself again. Quickly, sensing this is a good chance to focus one on one with this guy, you launch into a detailed description of what you do and decided to vary the last offer by giving details of a new training programme you are providing and how if he signs up within 7 days he will be able to take advantage of a telephone consultation with you....
The man listens politely though you notice his eyes glaze over slightly but you press on and go for the close. The man then tells you he is a self employed artist with a specialty in being commisioned by wealthy families to paint portraits of their family and has all the work he can cope with.
Another one bites the dust!
After an evening of similar scenarios and no luck getting anyone to commit to working with you, you go home disapointed and with the opinion that networking is a complete let down and a waste of your time....
Well although this is a little bit ridiculous scenario (though I bet you've met someone similar to this in reality!), it is also how many owners of Small to Medium Sized Businesses approach Marketing and inparticular Social Media Marketing! It hardly makes for a popular Social Media profile and will make the process of connecting with people much harder if you are just talking about yourself!
Of course, you also have to know who you should be contacting and make sure what you do is relevant and of interest to those people.
For me, the simple description on how Social Media works is in the descripton..... "SOCIAL"
How often have you looked at a small business on a popular social media channel and quickly moved on as the only messages they put out are hard sales messages?
It is my guess it is pretty often as I regularly keep an eye on what people are doing and I have noticed many people really going about their social media in a similar way to the above party scenario.
If you think how the party man went about his night out and how it could have been so much more enjoyable if he had looked for other like minded people, showed an interest in those people, in what they do and the problems and successes they are experiencing in their businesses. Perhaps then it could progress onto a discussion in how you may have seen similar issues in other businesses and offered some gentle advice that may have helped.
If nothing else, some engaging conversation, some laughs and perhaps a recommendation for either party of people you should both speak to help each other out, would have made it a fun and fulfilling night.
So if you approach your Social Media Marketing with this in mind, you will connect with more people, and I am sure will lead to more rewarding connections and hopefully develop into more succesful business relationships!