Jun 20

Social Media is like Networking


Many small business owners are still wondering what social media marketing really is, and are unsure of how to utilize it for their business and what to post when they do finally make the plunge to get on a social media platform.

Social media is simple: It’s word of mouth marketing in the online sphere.

If you have a great company and reputation, then it should effortlessly reflect on your social media channels as customers will love you there too. However, if you’re a lousy company with a reputation for poor customer service, your social media will reflect that too. I like to refer to social media marketing like networking.

A dear friend and I were sitting around talking one day about social media. He phrased it perfectly after sitting and listening to me ramble on keywords like engagement and followers for hours. He looked me in the eye with excitement and said, “I’ve got it! I now know what you do!”

With equal excitement, I looked back and eagerly said, “I’m all ears, do tell!”

What came out of his mouth next was a beautiful symphony of lyrics that explains social media marketing to those who don’t yet “get it”.

It’s like networking he said…

Imagine you go to a networking event. There are different types of networkers who attend these events, those who attend the event and stand in the corner, never talking to anyone and who leave upset because they didn’t make any connections and received no new business from the event. These social media pages are companies who create a page on every platform, invite their friends and family, never post anything to the page, and then complain that they get little business from their social media efforts.

Then there are the ones who go to the networking event, run around the room handing everyone a business card – never making a real connection with anyone – eat a bite, and leave. They would call the event a bust because they didn’t make any new connections or receive business from it. They keep bouncing around from event to event with the same results. On social media, these are the companies who set their pages up and typically only post about themselves. Their content contains sales post after sales post about their services – and why they are so great and amazing – and yet they wonder why no one is purchasing from them.

Then you have the ones who go to the event, slam a few drinks to get their courage up and then verbally vomit all over everyone, making an ass of themselves and their company. Leaving the event not really remembering what happened or who they talked to and of course in return getting zero new business from their efforts. These are the companies who have no strategy with their social media. They post whenever they feel like it, with no clear direction, of course they don’t get any business from their social media either.

With eyes lit up, he continued, “Then there is the professional networker.”

The kind that are smooth, know exactly what they want and show up to the event with the intention of meeting select key people that they can build a relationship with. They know who they want to meet, they ask for introductions, they stand and talk to those people when they are introduced asking pointed questions that less to great conversations. When they get home, they follow up with those people and continue building the relationship with them over time.

This can be compared to a company with a clear social media direction. This is the company who hires a professional to manage their platform. They show up to the “digital networking event” every day, at the right time, saying the right thing with the intent to build a relationship over time that leads to business whether short term or long term.

Brilliant, I thought! Anyone who has ever in their professional career attended a networking event, can relate to each type of “networker” outlined in this explanation.

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