Once upon a time, when our grandparents were children, people talked to each other. They talked to each other in person; Face to face. Those people knew what their favorite farmer was growing or what the local butcher had in his deli case. Shops were smaller, closer, and everyone had a few minutes to talk to their local grocer, butcher, or mailman.
Times have changed. Life is faster now. It is bigger, streamlined, a mix of media and distractions. We are living in a very different world than our grandparents.
However, contrary to popular belief, people still talk to each other. Their conversations just exist on a different platform. Instead of gathering around the corner store, we are now sharing our time and conversations with our friends online – by email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… etc.
The way your audience wishes to be talked to has not changed since the days your pop-pop was a kid. However, small businesses have not evolved to accommodate this way of interacting online. Consider these two situations:
- You are walking down the street. A row of small stores stretches out in front of you. As you approach there is a sudden clamor from the shop fronts, and in a rush a group of strangers that you can only assume are shopkeepers begin to shout at you.
“BUY WHAT I HAVE!”
“VISIT US AND GET 10% OFF”
“LOOK AT WHAT I AM SELLING TODAY!”
You don’t have time to even reach the storefront before you are barraged with offers.
- You are walking down a similar street. This street is much quieter. You have the chance to walk past the shops, and peer into the windows. The shopkeepers may have a little poster with a clever saying that makes you chuckle. The shopkeepers smile at you through the window. They are welcoming. You don’t feel as though you have to go in, but there is something about the store, maybe the window display, or the clever quote, or the friendly shopkeeper.
This is what the social media world looks like. Two camps – one shouting their opinions and offers, while another shares their inspirations and asks questions of their audience.
Through social media and inbound marketing you are able to get closer to the second scenario. Too many businesses spend their time blasting out self-promotion on Facebook and Twitter. It seems counter-intuitive, but social media, and the majority of inbound marketing will generate the most leads not by talking AT an audience, but rather conversing WITH them.
You will have more success and create a more dedicated following by:
- Generating conversation through interesting, thought-provoking content.
- Sharing links that engage your audience and establish industry recognition and connections.
- Engage in all audience conversation, no matter the platform – be present, be real, be human.
That isn’t to say that you can’t promote your own products or services, but that should take up a smaller portion of your social media presence. If a social media campaign is strategized successfully, your audience will already have you in mind when they are looking to make a purchase in your field.
Milk Thistle Media offers solutions for businesses that want to share more conversational content, or simply would like to pinpoint what their audience might be perceiving. If you would like a free consultation of your inbound marketing/social media footprint, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org