February 14, 2014

It's Valentine's Day. Everyone's favorite day... Yeah, the day that if you're single, you're dreadfully reminded of how single you are. And if you're in a relationship, you're under undue pressure to show your significant other, and the world, how much you love that person. Ok, I know I sound cynical (I actually like Valentine's Day) but we've manipulated a day that should be fun and exciting into one that is actually a chore and, for many, really annoying.

As I thought about this, I realized that many people think about social media marketing much like we think about Valentine's Day.

As I said, I actually enjoy Valentine's Day, but here's what it's turned into for many:

  • One time a year to announce how awesome you are (as a partner)
  • One time a year to tell your significant other how much you love them
  • A reminder of how much it sucks to be single
  • A time of year to spend a whole lot money on something that will be a tenth the price the next day
  • Full of pressure to succeed and be better than everyone else, taking all the fun out of the day

A question for you: How much does this sound like social media marketing to you?

So many times I hear complaints almost exactly like these when it comes to social media marketing. Whether it's complaining about how others are doing it or looking at how they're doing their own marketing, many companies are doing it wrong.

They're looking at social media like a Valentine's date, not a relationship.

In social media marketing, you should be telling your fans how awesome they are every day of the year. You should be providing value to your customers rather than trying to upsell them at ridiculous rates. And it should be fun!

Rather than getting all hyped up and convinced you're going to get 10,000 Facebook fans overnight, become an internet sensation, and tell the world how amazing you are, social media is a long term commitment. It's understanding that you have to woo your fans. You have to "date" them and foster a real relationship. Ask them questions, help them, get to know them. Then, once you're in a long term relationship, the real value arises.

A "one-night stand" won't get you very far in the real world and it won't get you very far in social media marketing either.

It's also important to not get hung up on how "single" you are. Just because you only have 150 fans doesn't mean you're worth any less than someone who has 5000 fans. Instead of thinking about how few fans you have, focus on creating a great community around the 150 fans you do have!

So, stop trying to fool yourself. Stop thinking of your social media as an over-hyped, over-the-top holiday. Start realizing that social media is a reflection of all you have to offer. Take the time to use everything you have to build a relationship with your audience!

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