Several years ago, right when I was starting my business, I was asked this question on an Internet forum, and couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
The funny thing is, it’s because you’re doing social networking wrong, and they’re doing it right.
Take a look at any (or all) of your online company profiles (Facebook Page, Twitter account, and so on). Is there a reason people would want to connect with you? Do you have content and a community that brings value to interested prospects, or are you just another “face in the crowd.”
Unless you have reasons for people to be interested in following you, they aren’t going to. You will never stand out from the noise of this crowded online market place by doing what everyone else is doing.
Have you ever bought anything from an email that went straight to your spam folder? What part of “Dear sir/ma’am, job replacing income inside this email!” didn’t catch your attention? Don’t you want job replacing income? These emails start triggering your “scam” radar, and you quickly moved onto other things.
The same radar is triggered by people utilizing platforms like Facebook.
There’s a false belief among many business owners that people just need to “hear” about their product, and then it’ll fly off the shelves. They think that the issue is not enough people know about their product or service, rather than focusing on spreading the message of what makes their product or service unique.
When they send an email to 10,000 people, and no one engages–they feel the email should be sent to 10,000 more people. They never ask themselves, “Why would anyone want to engage with my product or service?” I’ve seen a lot of tactics that these business types say “don’t work” work just fine when applied to a brand or product that understands the importance of sending a unique message.
Try to look at social networking websites as a party or business mixer. If you went up to someone at one of those events and said, “Hey, I have a $37 product you should buy, it’s a lot like everyone else’s product (but I think it’s unique).” you probably wouldn’t make very many friends. In fact, you might be asked to leave.
On the other hand, if you’re connecting with people, making new friends, and showing your unique professional self, you’re going to have better luck getting noticed, “shared,” and (in turn) marketing your product. If you’re the one guy at the mixer who isn’t trying to “sell” everyone on the latest financial plan, you’re going to be the one people remember.
Your 14 year old has thousands of friends, while you have 14, because she has something of value to offer to that community. She has something (her personality/online persona) that is intriguing to that many of her peers. For your business to achieve the same result, so do they.
The same thing is true in social networking, which is why your 14 year old has a thousand friends. They are using social networking to network with people, not just pasting links trying to get people to do things for them. Do you think they took out a Facebook ad to connect with people? Let’s hope not.