There are no true experts or gurus in this social media space -- we are ALL still trying to figure this out. When I said that at the 140 Character's Conference: New York City (#140conf) the audience applauded... because we all assume that someone else has all the answers to social media marketing success. The truth is that social media is still too new as a serious business tool for any one of us to know all the best social media marketing tactics or even understand best how to leverage every platform.
So why am I (@TedRubin) the #1 followed CMO on Twitter (and been so for close to two years) with over 54,000 followers? Because I don't assume I know everything about social media marketing, so I focus my time on building relationships. Because I pay attention, respond to, and interact with my followers… and I am not afraid to experiment publicly to see what topics are most relevant to my network(s), and what content is most useful to them.
Think about it this way -- what do you do when you are on a date? You get to know someone. You try various "tactics" and see which ones delight your date. And then you keep going with what works -- you don't stop interacting and you try to stay interesting and relevant. You keep communicating and you keep building the relationship by asking questions and sharing information about yourself to build trust, all while making yourself available and easy to reach. (By the way, don't forget our smart phones can actually make and receive PHONE CALLS!).
More than ever, marketing is about connecting to people. Social media is simply a platform that facilitates the connection. The different platforms will come and go, but the need to connect and build relationships with our audience members will only grow stronger. The more skilled we can become with building relationships, the greater chance that our brand will stand out in a crowd, both now and in the future.
Since all relationships are slightly different and there are no social media marketing gurus to tell you exactly how to do this, I highly recommend you ask yourself the following questions:
- What if you took a few days to experiment with your social media marketing approach – what would you do differently?
- In what ways would you reach out to your audience and your consumers?
- How would you court them differently?
- How would you experiment with delighting them?
…. then go DO it! Your customers, and prospective customers, want “relevant” and “valuable” – so why not figure out what that is and give it to them??
- Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist