Happy Friday! This is an essay on how to weave business in to social communication.
- What if rather than writing a blog entirely focused on you, and sharing links on your Facebook page directing fans to your blog.
- What if rather than using Twitter as a platform to pontificate.
- What if rather than using Instagram to share pictures of your product.
- What if rather than spending the majority of your time on social media trying to figure out the best way to get people to pay attention to your business.
- What if you turned everything around?
It is interesting to note that when you spend all your time talking about yourself and how wonderful you are, you are essentially telling people that you are your own biggest fan!
And, that is embarrassing.
No Cares About You
The truth is, no one cares about you or what you have to say about yourself in a business or marketing context.
If this sums up your social efforts to this point: Please stop. Just stop.
Unfortunately you are more likely to become one of those people who “gave social media a shot” but claims “it didn’t work for me” than to see any level of success.
- What if you took every last minute you have been using to promote your business socially and instead you became another’s biggest fan? Just think about that for a minute… what would this look like for you?
- What if you wrote a blog post that featured a local business professional who had a complimentary product to yours?
- What if your Facebook wall, Twitter timeline and Instagram feeds were flooded with endorsements for quality local businesses?
- What if at every opportunity you tried to make someone else look good instead of shamelessly promoting yourself?
Jayme Soulati from Soulati.com takes every Friday to feature a new blogger or contributor in something she calls “The Happy Friday Series.” The whole goal is to offer her platform to another in an attempt to broaden their social reach. What a great idea!
A Story From Personal Experience
I “joined the conversation” in 2010 and began my social media experience by listening to conversations on Twitter for months before engaging.
In that time, I identified 2 things:
- The people I liked following the most were those who added value to my timeline. They engaged with other local people, they shared information and were generally just all around approachable people.
- The people I really didn’t like were the people who spammed my timeline with self-promoting garbage.
My initial engagement strategy was to follow my city’s hashtag and engage with at least two new people each day.
Then it came, the tweet that would get me hooked on social media for business:
“Hey, I am new to #YQR, can anyone please recommend a place where I can buy Italian Syrups for my coffees #HELP!
As a man who is passionate about his coffee, I knew just the place.
“Absolutely, you have to go to Ambassador Coffee, the owner is a great guy, they will take good care of you”
I then sent along a Google map, followed her on twitter, she followed me and that was that. Two days later, she hits me with:
“Thanks so much for your help, I went to Ambassador, they were great, really appreciate it”
I replied with a “no problem” and out.
Now why is that exciting?
Well, as a mortgage broker, the DM I received 2 weeks later was social proof that being a nice guy actually makes for good business strategy.
“Hey, my husband and I aren’t ready to buy a house now, but when we are, can you help us arrange our mortgage”?
How do you like that? Never once did I mention mortgages or business or anything else sales-y. She obviously read my twitter bio or clicked through to my website from my profile.
Six months later, I closed their [substantial] mortgage simply because I answered a tweet and recommended a local business.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there is no value in content marketing. Actually I believe wholeheartedly that content marketing is the future of business communication.
Further to that… if good business communication is all about “people should do business with people they know, like and trust”. Ask yourself:
How are people getting to know, like and trust me?
Before you start throwing your own content out there, what if you developed an audience that actually wanted to hear what you had to say?
What if your social business strategy was to become a trusted source of information on every local business EXCEPT your own?
Jackson Middleton is the principal broker for First Foundation Residential Mortgages in Saskatchewan, Canada and the executive editor of the First Foundation #OwnGrowProtect blog. Jackson has a passion for marketing and carries weight in the Canadian mortgage and real estate industry. Jackson is a serial entrepreneur who is always looking for better ways to do things. His twitter bio reads: @kiltedbroker – I am wearing a kilt right now. I have consumed coffee today. Family Man. Innovator.