Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Social" Media Made Simple

Why is "Social Media" so widely misunderstood? This is not named some idiotic brand with some trendy spin that you have to Google to find out what it is. But yet nearly every day I find myself in conversation with people that have no idea what it really is. It's "Social" and it's "Information".

The very essence of your social media campaign should be social-based information. Content, activities, subjects, presentation of material people are INTERESTED in on a social level. Making a Facebook page for your chain link fence product is not going to magically spur 2000 likes. No one cares. A Facebook page featuring content on how to keep children safe from the dangers of unattended swimming pools...now you have a shot at social media. Every soccer mom in America would share that with their friend who has kids and a pool or kids that live near a pool or body of water. Swimming pool contractors would send the article out in their newsletters, (if properly distributed). Day cares and home school groups would send it out as well. The list goes on. Why? Because it is now interesting and you have created a message that applies to enough people that they would share it. Now your chain link campaign is moving. 

This is the time when you use your creativity. If you admit you could use a little more creativity, hire someone that has it and knows how to use it. Most social media should cross the typical business lines into creating a personal interest in the material being presented. It is extremely difficult to capture someone's attention on a social level with the same old material spun one more time. This is why some of the old Fuddy-Duddy marketing gurus can't quite get their finger on it. It's a new paradigm altogether. If you stick to the business theme, there should either be real value given to generate the excitement you are looking for. The "free report" gig still works if the content is strong enough and the supply is short enough but it has to be stepped up a notch. 

A few platforms you can start your social media campaign from are: 

Humor- (Be careful not to diminish your brand with this one)
Cause-oriented or Not for profit
Activities, events 
Peripheral and associated interests
Industry good or bad news that directly affects the intended audience
Warnings such as safety recalls and scams
Money and time savings

These are just a few of the platforms that hold interest on a social level. You notice I did not add ball bearings, hospital supplies or insurance to the list. I did not add Dentistry or Chiropractic or limestone to the list. This is not a time for executives and entrepreneurs to be offended that people don't love their product or service as much as they do. This is a time to understand the concept, make money at it and benefit their industry because of it.  

Keep the message short and sweet. This paradigm could accurately be titled as "Hey411plsTTYL". Roll with the times on this one.   

In summary, social media is about giving someone such engaging information that they would want to share it or be a part of it. If it is used correctly it will profit us all tremendously. If it is abused it will become as congested as the highways we call the "Internet Superhighway".  With too much peripheral information making it difficult to find the exact information we really want.         


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