Not that many years ago we were all social media virgins. Remember the excitement of discovering new platforms…the sexiness of acquiring a new and potentially unlimited client base from the internet…the arousal you got from imagining millions of devoted clients/customers following your every move online, just looking for an opportunity to open up their wallets and give you all their HARD EARNED MONEY?!?! Mmmmmm…to be young, naive, and in love with social media again!!
Of course tons of people log into social media sites for the first time every day. There’s always going to be an influx of social media virgins running wide eyed, ecstatic towards the ultimate gratification: A business with minimal start up capital required and one that is available to anyone with a pulse and a computer. Some will make it, many will not. The first question a social media virgin has to face could very well shape his or her fledgling business’ failure or even it’s tremendous success. That question is: What kind of connections are you looking for and what are you willing to do to get them?
Some would tell social media virgins that online relationships are a numbers game. That we shouldn’t even really think of the word relationship, instead think of connections. Many fall prey to this false advice and begin to actually believe that the internet is a giant marketing forum where we can all put up our commercials and yet we don’t have to put up any capital, where the guy with the largest audience wins…like TV without the financial hurdles. Of course this advice is doled out by thousands of self proclaimed “social media experts” and “social media thought leaders” and “social media ninjas” through free ebooks and all other kinds of “viral” paraphernalia. Just the names they give themselves make me smirk. You see, no one sets out to be slutty in social media, we all just want attention, and acclaim, and of course more business…
Like many of you, I went through my own slutty phase in social media. I followed people just to be followed back. I tagged people in facebook notes that weren’t even mentioned in the content just so that they would read what I wrote. I sent out endless repetitive invitations to my facebook page and group until a large percentage of my facebook “friends” either caved and joined or ignored me. Yes, I’ve ho’d around on social media. I’ve taken advantage of my online friends kindness. I’ve probably hurt my brand in the process. It wasn’t because I wanted to be cheap and superficial, I just didn’t know any better. I’ve been there. Most of us have.
Thankfully I’m well along on my road to redemption now. Experience, or actual good honest advice, teaches us that social media is just an extension of the human experience. It’s not an alternate universe where everyone is looking to reward thoughtless and intrusive strangers with their hard earned cash. If you don’t like junk mail, people on facebook won’t like your spam in their inbox. If you don’t like pre-recorded telemarketing calls during dinner, you can bet your promotional Direct Message won’t be well received on Twitter by the masses that you’re spamming. If you like doing business with local businesses that take the time to treat you like a person instead of a transaction and provide a personal level of customer service, then eventually you will realize that online consumers are looking for those same qualities.
So if you’re just starting out in Social Media, pause and consider your path and choose the one that leads directly to more business…or just go ahead and ho around.
Have you been slutty in Social Media? Confessions and comments are welcome below!
Help spread the word!