The rules for social media engagement really haven’t changed much in the last 9 years. True, there are different mores and ways to navigate the various social channels, but the basics are pretty much same same.
From whence does this mind-bending observation cometh?
I was weeding through some old notebooks before tossing them (for those few of you who know me and read this – Yes, I do throw things away. Now and then.). I came across my “rules of the road” draft for commenting/engaging on the AIIM Community.
Typos (and grammar concerns) terrify folks into paralysis when it comes to writing. What if I make a mistake? Use the wrong word? I don’t know where the commas go. Semi-colons?!?!? OMFG, kill me.
This fear keeps many folks who would otherwise be fantastic contributors to blogs, social media sites, and elsewhere from sharing insights and knowledge that others would find useful. I’ve seen people who successfully started and then ran large IT implementations run in fear from the idea of writing a 500 word blog post about their experience.
In so far as you only get better writing by writing (a lesson I’ve lived this past 18 months), fear of making a mistake is bad enough.
Marketing can become a self-consuming and navel-gazing perpetual motion machine. If you aren’t tying your marketing to achieve direct sales results, then I have a hard time figuring out why you’re marketing. Grabbing attention, engagement, personality, aren’t ends in and of themselves, they’re stepping stones to get to someone buying something from you.
Nearly every piece of advice you read about content and inbound marketing includes the words “great” and “content” in sequence or at least in close proximity. I am all for great content – great content whether whimsical or serious or funny or informative or entertaining or whatever is, well, great.
I’ve spent my fair share of time at trade shows and conferences over the years – attending, covering, and staffing. I’ve read, and written, a fair number of reports from these events. As I was thinking about personas for a client yesterday, I recalled a sponsor wrap up that had struck me as clueless at the time.
After looking at my notes again – yep, as clueless as I recall. And that gives me an excuse for a short rant.
The wrap up started with “My customers are worried.” From there, the post went on to bemoan continual confusion amongst the professionals this company targets about the possibilities presented by the technology the vendor offers.
To be fair, there is a percentage of this target customer base that remains locked in a decades-past mindset.
My initial thought when I read the post was “well, then, maybe you’ve just done a shit poor job of overcoming customer fears.”
Don’t complain and whine that your target audience “just doesn’t get it.” They don’t give a damn about you. It’s your job to make sure they care by providing a kick-ass product and then shouting from the (right) rooftops about it (in the context of being a trusted partner, of course). Bitching that your target audience is “worried” about how your product fits technologically and within regulatory regimes is just stupid, blind, short-sighted, and self-defeating.
Maybe your product is THAT ADVANCED that it is all that AND a bag of chips.
You still need to educate your audience about both the product and the context so that they’ll buy it.
Whining about your customers ain’t gonna get that done.
Your customers are worried. I’ve got an idea: figure out why the hell they’re worried and then address that in your marketing and educational efforts.