Ok, here are a few questions I’ve been dying to ask my friends:
- Of all the brands you follow on Twitter, how many have you recommended to family or friends?
- When was the last time you entered to win something on Facebook AND shared it with friends?
- Do you use a “junk mail” email address to sign up for news/offers/etc.?
- Think of your top 3 favorite YouTube videos. Were they product pitches? If so, did you buy?
Nowadays, every brand wants us to “like” it on Facebook, follow it on Twitter, watch it on YouTube, subscribe to its stuff, download its app, and join its “community,” and blah blah blah. It’s enough to make Susan Powter scream. Seriously, how many different ways do YOU want or need to hear from a company?
Here’s the thing, dear brands: When the voice in the corn field whispered “if you build it, he (they) will come,” it definitely wasn’t talking about all your social presence on multiple networks. We only “like,” follow, subscribe or download when there’s something in it for us. Your customers, not the C-suite, are the most demanding people when it comes to ROI: is your company and its wares worth our time and/or money? If your company doesn’t offer anything unique and compelling, isn’t helpful, or doesn’t provide easy access to whatever we want, we either won’t come or won’t stay. It’s that simple.
What if, instead of chasing after the next shiny social media object, you spent that time approaching us at our favorite hangout, both online and offline, and talked with us? What if, instead of trying to create the next “viral” thing (eww), you asked what we want or need, and actually made it happen?
True, I work in the social media field, and I’m familiar with many tactics brands employ to spread its messages online. But more importantly, I’m a wife, a mom, a woman with disposable income, make household purchasing decisions, tech gadget friendly, and active on social networks. I get pitched and marketed to all day long, too. I see and understand both sides, and not surprisingly, the side of real life wins every time. I’m thankful because the combination of my two points of view helps me make better recommendations and decisions for my clients. So, dear brands, whatever you choose to do with this social media thing, if it’s not relevant to your customers’ lives, it won’t last, and certainly won’t help your bottom line.
P.S. Have you read Brains on Fire (the book)? I’m a fan, and would recommend it to you. And no, this is not an affiliate link.