I just wrote a picturesque blogpost on my danish social media blog on amino.dk, I normally don’t do this, but I think the blogpost was really cool so I decided to translate it and crosspost it here.
it’s about involvement/engaging people – which in my opinion is starting to get as much of a buzzword as social media is. To me it’s quite bizarre because I have been in this creative game for a long time, I have gone from people thinking that I was completely crazy talking about “community marketing” and “the power of online relationships” and how it could be used for business, and then now where everything I have been working at, for a while suddently is so HAWT and the talk of the town. I guess this is a post that is a warning on how you shouldn’t teach people to “involve” people in your brand. It’s a raised finger and a “be careful” because as far I am concerned, it’s taking the beauty and the substance out of engaging and involving people.
Anyway here goes:
There’s so many people that suddently talks about social media and involvement – it’s everywhere ! and even though it’s a joy to me I can also see it exploding in the face of business anytime- in a bad way. Im a person with a deep drive to make a difference in this fantastic and creative world of social marketing, where I earn my money for my cornflakes and my sugar everyday. There’s a lot of people that are wondering how you can use this Â “social media” that in my point of view does one thing and one thing only: they get you closer to people. If these people are clients, suppliers or potential clients really isn’t the point here. It’s probably a simplistic way of looking at social media, and of course there’s a lot of creme de la creme around it so it becomes sweet and cool and hawt and iphone/facebook/twitter hyped- BUT if you think about this as the only thing that social media does – then it also becomes easier to work around as a company.
Let’s say that you (as a company) is standing right in front of a potential client. You can even see in each others eyes and it looks like a person you would be interested in having in your company network, and maybe selling a product or two. because you are so close to each other, you can hear what he says, and he can hear what you say – even though if he’s not speaking directly to you – but to his network that has the same relation to this fine gentleman as you have.
Now, normally you would be expecting that it’s you that needs to open you mouth and say something smart. But what you say is something like “come and be a fan of my facebook page/follow me on twitter and get 100 dollars discount on your next purchase in my online shop or have the opportunity to win a trip to New York (or if you see it my way what it says is “please buy something – anything really”). Maybe it even is said in a way called “page suggestion” where you don’t even take our time to write a personal note to the person receiving the suggestion – I guess Â you’re super busy running your business or something. The potential client is thinking “well it might not hurt to be a fan of this company that I don’t know that well”. He get’s some totally pointless updates about a company that doesn’t provide any value whatsoever to the people receiving the update. And within a span of a couple of weeks the potentiel client, now turned “fan” is not a fan anymore – he is in fact the opposite thinking that this company is wasting his time. He didn’t any value. You on the other hand, got a lot of might and glory by adding another fan to your following of empty talk and no value, Whatever that means.
And then we rewind the tape.
Again you are standing in front of this person. you can hear what he says but it’s not directed to you – it’s directed to his whole network. You are just about to open you mouth and say something that would be “good for business” – but then Henriette tells you that you need to wait and listen to what he says first. Put yourself in his place, talk to him. comment on the things that are important to him. Support him and show him of on your blog because you think he’s super cool. Â Tell him why you are following him on twitter or whereever, be personal, invite him as a guest of honor for your next exclusive champagne and cupcake party. Involvement is about how you involve people. How you become a cool brand. But the involvement needs to come from you first, in a way where you give and give and give, because it’s by spoiling your network and the people who are interested/potentially interested in you and your company that the involvement that-you-want-so-bad-it-hurts actually comes up.
This closeness with your network means that you can’t use it for business as usual. You can’t be not-personal and noisy. You have to proactively involve yourself in your network, before the people in your network will involve themselves in you, your brand and your activities. You need to earn every one of your facebook page fans or twitter followers – you need to involve yourself in them and be proactive about it. In that exact way you create the involvement that is oh-my-so-hawt-right-now. They will follow and involve themselves Â because you are a company that cares and provide value for them by facilitating their interest and keep on showing them to the rest of your network.
It sounds hard – and it is! – it’s different – it’s hippie-ish it’s rock n’roll and it takes A LOT of creativity. And it’s sooo much fun..