A 6-minute read.
This is a problem that stems from being too good. The ‘problem‘ is not WITH the social media giants, but with the people who want to use it to market their business and services.
Without debate, one of the greatest values of social media is how it connects people. Like any real (offline) communication, a topic needs to be un-interrupted and continuous for it to make sense and have value. When it gets stepped on by people promoting their business it takes down the value and will lower participation. Getting ‘Banned’ and/or relegated to ‘Market Mondays’ or simply blocked on Twitter are actions taken by people to protect the content and value of their online communications.
Completely eliminating any potential value of a business owner from participating in local online conversations is not really in the best interest of the (online) group. Business owners are active members of their (offline) communities and can add to any (online) communication. But the practical, productive side of their personality wants to see some economic benefit for the time they invest into their (online) communication.
The Present Condition
In the real (offline) world, people represent themselves and their company services by putting their best behavior forward and following that up by providing information about their business. Eventually, their public exposure enables them to become a known entity and most of their business will flow from those relationships. A business owner wants to see their time invested into communicating as leading towards a growth in that exposure.
In the online world, this does not happen.
The (online) social engagement on threads and timelines does not carry with it the knowledge of who and what a person does for a living. This is a major break from our traditional (offline) social communications.
First, here is a list of what perpetuates the breakdown:
- On Facebook, business owners are encouraged to create a separate ‘Business Page’ from their personal account. You cannot respond to (online) socially-relevant threads as a ‘Business’.
- On Facebook, business owners are told to ‘promote their business’ by sharing it with their friends. This is the (offline) equivalent of walking into a room with your business card in hand and shoving it into people’s hands. It’s not an acceptable form of behavior and likely to prevent people from doing business with you.
- On Facebook, business owners are told to ‘share their business’ with other groups. Most (98%?) groups have strict policies in place with no tolerance for business promotion.
- On Facebook, business owners are encouraged to promote their business using Facebook ads which are unsolicited ‘banner’ type displays that exist outside any relevant social topic.
- On Twitter, topical threads are created by #hashtags. Pushing a business promotion onto a topic thread is the (offline) equivalent to being rude and socially inept. In both (online/offline) worlds the result is the same – blocked.
There is nothing wrong with promoting through Facebook and Twitter advertisements. Advertising in this way is a standard, acceptable practice.
We are pointing out that (online) social communications have broken from traditional (offline) social communications when it comes to business/personal representation and exposure – which, traditionally, is a major source of growing a small business.
We have used Facebook and Twitter as examples because of their prominence, but similar conditions exist for every online social media site.
In the real (offline) world there is an art in presenting yourself gracefully and tactfully. The goal is to show honor, respect and other virtues in a manner so as to gain trust and confidence in order to win someone’s business. Less patient, get-rich-quick types employ their own strategies like ‘bait-n-switch’ tactics.
First, we need to get the knowledge of our business into the (online) social conversation that we – as business owners – partake in. Second, we need to do it in a way that represents us well.
Marketing-Resource.Org and one of it’s most popular sub divisions, Water-Resource.Org, gives it’s subscribers a tool to perform the job of subtly, professionally informing (online) social threads of who you are while you engage with them socially. We are your ‘wing man’ in the (online) world of social media.
How It Works
Any good social media post has either an image or a video. Because it is not easy and rather time consuming to produce and post content, many business owners either stop creating new content or they pay for a service to do it for them. This holds true for both your company website and your company’s Facebook business page. The problem magnifies when you think about trying to generate content that is ‘socially relevant’ to a conversation that is flowing in a thread. Simply put, there is not enough time to generate an appropriate response to a social thread that can effectively promote your business – until now.
Here is a list of ‘problems’ generating / sharing content, so we can show our solutions for all of them:
- The business content you either generate or pay to have generated is still business specific and not relevant to a social topic thread that is live and ongoing. Remember, we need to ‘get into‘ the conversation first, not just shove a business card at people.
- Without using our tool, it is impossible to share a relevant social topic response in keeping with the conversation and include a link to any business content of yours – unless the social topic happens to be specific to your business content which is very rare.
- If you decide to share your business content in a non-social group – like your own timeline for your friends or in a simple tweet to your followers – your company name and contact info will not be represented in the timeline where you shared it – only if they click on the link. Those are two problems; First, we really need to be conversing ‘in a social group‘ and not just promoting to people who already know us (friends/followers). Second, you want people to see your company name and phone number even before they click on your link.
- You could respond to a live social topic with a YouTube video you like and that could be very engaging to the social topic. But it would give you no credit in the timeline, a user click would take them to their YouTube channel (not your site) and there is no way to give your viewers ‘more info’ about you and your services.
- On Facebook, you can share an image in two ways (upload and a link) but neither one can be controlled as to where it will send a user/click. Sharing a link/post you like that has an image (likely one you saw in your timeline) will cause the original creator to get the click traffic (not your business) and uploads from your personal devices will only give the ability to tag people in the photos.
Our marketing tool solves all these limitations. It also adds two more categories that are new:
- Engaging text messages with your custom image in the phone’s message display along with your personal message. Clicking on the message link takes them to your city on our domain where a mobile friendly page has another message from you along with more of your images. It is designed to make you look bigger, better and more technically advanced than your competition, especially during the early phase of customer interaction when you know they are shopping your service around town.
- Your landing pages on our domains are customized and allow you to create several different unique ‘offers’ of services that you provide, giving you the ability to quickly send a pertinent message to your prospective customer in order to win their business. We highlight all your company info as well as the ‘Contact Us’ page for the domain. Essentially, we are a Chameleon that changes to your color.
Use these links to discover more detail on how we solve the issues we just discussed.
Let us promote you! : A 7-minute read.
How-To Create Social Messages With Offers : An 18-minute video
Marketing: Connecting Emotionally Online : A 7-minute read.