from pickett&associates … exploring PR, social media and entrepreneurship

Are You Targeting Your Social Media Message? August 30, 2010

Filed under: Social Media — pickettwrites @ 8:32 am

If you think the great thing about social media is the ability to blast your message to millions of unsuspecting customers, think again.

When you utilize social media in your marketing strategy – which you definitely should be doing – it needs to be with near micro-targeting precision. Social Media blogger Maggie Fox illustrates this well with her analogy to a message in a bottle. This paragraph definitely bears repeating: “Too many businesses blast out noise.  They think they have to push email blasts, coupons and clutter to our in boxes, Facebook fan pages, Twitter Tweets every day for sake of losing your mind share.”

I think this is a great way to think of it … but perhaps the “message in a bottle” analogy doesn’t resonate with you. Another way to think of it is this: You are at a cocktail party. Do you climb up on the couch and begin randomly shouting things that YOU think are interesting about you? “HEY, MY SON IS THE TOP SCORER FOR HIS UNDER-12 TRAVEL SOCCER TEAM! I’M REALLY SUCCESSFUL, AND I DRIVE A REALLY BIG CAR! I JUST HAD LIPOSUCTION AND WOULD BE HAPPY TO REFER YOU! … “

Obviously, this sort of behavior would result in (at best) being ignored or (at worst) permanently banned from future gatherings. And this is exactly what happens when you try to blast out a message to a mass audience with whom you have NO relationship and who has absolutely NO interest in you … or your client. You do not gain “followers and friends,” you lose them; you receive “unsubscribe” notices from email blasts, and you note that the “open rate” is nil. The phone is NOT ringing.

Back to the cocktail party analogy, a better approach … you might find someone you’ve chatted with before and engage them in a conversation. Maybe they’ll introduce you to someone with whom they are speaking; you make conversational small talk, finding some common ground. And they may introduce you to someone else, or not. You may move on to someone else in the room and begin the process again.  

So, go to LinkedIn. Join groups that are pertinent to your areas of interest. Follow and observe conversations and comment on them. Start discussions. Go to Twitter. Follow those “tweeters” pertinent to you. Follow them. Listen. Observe. Re-tweet. Reply.

The point I’m making here is this: Building a meaningful following through social media takes time. “Mass blasts” are not the way to go. “HEY LOOK AT ME!” is NOT a social media strategy. Hone your message for your audience, don’t forget to listen and be prepared for a substantial commitment of time and energy.  

So, are you targeting your social media message? I’d LOVE to hear your success stories!

Happy Monday for this last week of August … I’m heading to downtown Indy for lunch (that will hopefully make for an exciting announcement in the near future). In addition to good company, I’m looking forward to that fabulous chopped salad at Palomino.


One Response to “Are You Targeting Your Social Media Message?”

  1. Tara Says:

    Now you’ve got me re-thinking my actions at that last cocktail party … but I DO drive a REALLY BIG car! Geesh.

    But seriously, GREAT analogy. GREAT lesson! I held a real time contest during the Emmy Awards for free tickets to the show for anyone who guessed both OUTSTANDING DRAMA and OUTSTANDING COMEDY correctly. At the end, people said, “That was fun!”
    So, I SHOULDN’T clamber on up on your couch and yell, “SUCCESS STORY!”

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