Thursday, March 13, 2014

SG Social Media Guru: Social Media is JUST a Platform

At SG Guru Media Guru, we are constantly asked how social media managers should engage or deal with people online. Our perspective has always been that social media is just a platform that allows you to communicate with people both efficiently (large numbers) and effectively (quickly). Social norms do not change and it does not alter the way people feel towards you or change their expectations of what is appropriate. At the end of the day, people still interact with you on a personal, or one-to-one basis.

For example, if a friend shared an observation on Facebook and a few of his friends were having a discussion on his wall about it, jumping-in and steering the conversation to a point where you then sell your product or service is rude. This is no different from a situation where a group of friends are having a conversation and then you join in and started your sales pitch to everyone present.
 
In the same light, it is also inappropriate if a competitor has a blog and you use its comment feature to pitch your own product. Again, this is no different from you standing in your competitor's place of business and handing out your business cards. This is something you would never do in the physical world, so what makes it different in the digital world?
 
At our workshops, we teach that social media amplifies both positive and negative behaviors. Thus, if you come across as a pushy or obnoxious salesman, this reputation will spread rapidly and you will very quickly lose your natural market. The key lesson for anyone who wants to engage with clients on social media is therefore this ...
 
"social norms for how people want to be sold do not change just
because we are on Facebook. So if you have to sell, sell as if you are
selling in person."

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