A study from Harvard University recently found that people like to talk about themselves (shocker, I know), and that talking about ourselves on social media stimulates the same part of our brain that gets excited when we eat, get money or have sex.
Like people, brands love to talk about themselves on social media.
And many gurus have written many books and blogs posts to help brands talk about themselves better than their competitors.
Sure they’ll help you figure out how much to post what where when, but this all kind of misses the point.
Want to be really successful at social media?
Then stop thinking about it like another marketing channel. Another way to get your message out.
Instead follow the age old rule for being a great conversationalist: listen more than you speak.
It’s harder and harder to get a marketing message to “go viral” and it should come as no surprise that brands’ near obsession with likes, shares and retweets so often fails to deliver a true return on their investment.
Instead of moving old, tired tactics to a new medium, consider how social media truly differs from traditional media: it’s social.
And social means not broadcasting a marketing message but instead listening, learning and conversing with your current and prospective customers.
Listen to what customers are saying about your brand, industry or competitors. Listen to uncover needs that are not yet being met. Listen to discover new ideas for products or services you might not even offer yet. Listen to find prospective customers who might looking for the services you offer.
You can listen in to conversations using specialized monitoring software or even by just using Twitter’s advanced search – are you a lawyer in Columbus, Ohio? Wouldn’t it be useful if you could discover people asking their friends and followers to recommend a lawyer in Columbus, Ohio? You can.
And when you find someone you think might be interested in your products or services, don’t just sell sell sell, but empathize and treat them like a true friend and valued partner.
Because they are.