Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Automate - Communicate

"Where can I find a one-click automated solution to all my social sites?"

I see this question constantly and, frankly, it sends up all sorts of warning sirens and flashing red lights in my opinion. The need to automate is a sign that a company is more interested in their time than mine.

Let's take a step back and look at the gap here.

Why do people use Social Media? They use Social Media to talk with friends, clients, professional and personal connections. In other words - they have conversations.

How do people use Social Media? They share pictures and videos, comment on each other's statuses, play other words, they communicate with other people.

People do not join a Social Network to be advertised to. Yes, we're all aware that that pays the bills, and we're willing to tolerate it in return for a free experience, but - the moment you think the point of a Social Network is the advertising, you have fallen into delusion. This is why just having a "presence" in a Social Network has no real meaning and why people aren't jumping aboard your Fan page, or following you on Twitter.

The Keys to Great Social Media are Relevance and Authencity

How authentic are your communications? If you are automating one message across multiple platforms, the answer is - not at all. You're using a broadcast model, and not only are you not accomplishing what you hope to do, you're alienating the very people you hoped to engage. Essentially, you have turned your business communications into Spam.

How relevant are your communications? Do you post the same message over and over on Twitter? Do you "target" people by keyword, then reply to them out of context with a pitch for your site, product or service? Getting involved with a conversation about your area of expertise shows you can listen as well as talk. Communication is more than one-way.

Talking with people takes more time than talking at them. But it also provides your potential customer with the knowledge that you are more than just a faceless drone, spitting out press releases. And it assures them that you value their time as much as you do your own.

Be real - don't automate, communicate.
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