If you have financial goals attached to your foray into social media, you need to know a little about advertising. Those of us in the ad creation business are tasked with crawling inside of the heart and mind of the prototypical person who represents a target audience. We know how to think like other people. Most any copywriter will tell you that psychology is the science of advertising. Which makes mathematics is the science of marketing. So if you come into this space because the math tells you to, you’ll need to apply the science of advertising to make it work.
I know what some of you are thinking, ‘but advertising is just selling things.’ Well, that’s the goal usually, yes. But before we sell a damn thing, we have to establish an amiable relationship with the target person. When we do, they pay attention. If you think you can come into social media with a mathematics formula to increase sales, you will fail. But, since not everyone thinks or communicates like a copywriter, and because not every agency (few, I’d guess) are outfitted to manage their client’s social media communications, you have to consider other options.
Here’s where it gets good – you don’t *have* to hire an agency or copywriter to create your messages and interact with your audience. Sure, maybe *you* (personally) are too close to your product/service to separate yourself enough to make a meaningful connection with your audience. But I’ll bet that there are people in your organization who are ready to do it. Real people. People who you already trust to represent your organization every day on the phone, via email and in person. Draw upon these resources to spearhead your social media engagement. When real people interact with other real people about mutual interests and passions, good things happen.
The beauty of social media is that it reinforces the idea that people don’t want to be sold anything. Those of us in advertising have always known this. But if you come in here trying to sell stuff by attempting to write like a senior copywriter, you're going to butcher the hell out of your brand and the whole thing will backfire. Focus on building a great product and you'll gain a loyal following. Throw in some friendly chatter and responsive service by real people who already believe in your company, and social media is a goldmine waiting to be unearthed. Yes, you should hire experts do develop and produce your complex digital campaigns, but definitely keep your day-to-day social engagement stuff in house – where loyalty takes hold.
Social media isn't brain surgery. But there's definitely an element of psychology involved.
Jim Mitchem is a father, husband, copywriter and founder of smashcommunications. You can follow him on Twitter @smashadv.
4 CommentsLEAVE A COMMENT
May 14, 2010
A gem on a friday? Wow, you are good! Seriously this article is fantastic. I love it.
“But before we sell a damn thing, we have to establish an amiable relationship with the target person. When we do, they pay attention.” Same hold true for social media as you point out as if you come to the platform with a sales pitch, it will backfire; you wasted your time and anyone who you followed, friended time as well. I like to think of SM as an extension of the door to door salesman (not the sales part) but the talking part. People then bought from the man who knocked on the door because they trusted him. In social media we talk to people we trust and buy from people we trust.
Leads are not sold to, they decide to buy (courtesy of John Jantsch)says a lot as the goal of many campaigns is to increase awareness, create desire to buy, create relationship with customer and then they will be enticed enough to buy. Which is really saying they decide to buy (but some ad folks will live in the part where the ad was so great that they were enticed to buy).
Love your articles! Keep em coming.
May 14, 2010
Thank you Suzanne. So nice to know that I’m not way out in the field chewing on straw.
May 14, 2010
Agreed. Bottom line, excellence is key. If you can’t do social media well or you are doing it just to check it off the biz list, most likely no one will care.
Also, I like the new pic…is that your good ear?
May 14, 2010
Ha. That *is* the good ear, Matt. Only the best for my peeps.