Never before in history has the potential of commerce been so ripe and rich with Billion dollar possibilities for marketers. Social media has given us unprecedented reach and influence on international markets and given rise to tools that make delivering the right products to consumers a win-win experience. There’s glory everywhere and everyone wants a piece of the pie and is ready to do all that it takes to achieve victory. More businesses are realizing the benefits of social media and online marketing and budgets and teams are transformed.
However, as usual, there are a few problems that seem to be holding back the average online marketer. And as we’ve witnessed time and time again, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk, “marketers ruin everything.” As he explains in the video below and the one here, we certainly have the wrong approach.
As online marketers, we dilute every platform that we got our hands on throughout history and bombarded each one with messages primarily geared towards selling stuff. Always trying to close the next sale or getting someone to read your new article or signup for a newsletter. It’s a torrent of people trying to sell something which in turn creates a lot of noise and eventual dilution of the message, regardless of how great the product or story is. I know I have certainly been guilty of this on many occasions!
The “Always Be Closing” Dilemma
We’ve always heard the popular phrase, “always be closing” throughout the 90’s and even today. It was popularized in the 1992 film “Glengarry Glen Ross” where an aggressive representative from a corporate office, in his effort to motivate their sales team, encouraged reps to always be in a state where you’re constantly pushing products, searching for prospects and pitching in an effort to close. When you think about it, it’s likely because of this strategy why most of us dislike sales representatives’ attitude and avoid them like the plague. It’s downright annoying and ineffective.
There’s a time to close and this article by NetHosting on sales copy is still important and useful when the timing is right. However, it should not be the main ingredient.
On social media, especially on Twitter, you’ll easily discover that every marketer seems to be selling something rather than engaging the community in real conversation and taking advantage of the opportunity to be valuable and relevant. Everyone seems to be peddling something and when you think about it, in the midst of the noise, how often do you click on a sales pitch that truly catches your eye?
Everybody is selling something and if everyone is selling, who’s going to consume?
If every single one of your tweets or posts is broadcasting a new blog post, some new service or a public pitch to hire you, then you’re doing it all wrong and regardless of how many followers you have acquired, selling will be difficult. You’re being selfish and you’re diluting the real power of the platform. Change this habit and you’ll begin to experience real, positive results.
Common Sharing Mistake
Social media is about storytelling, engagement and interaction. Unfortunately, it’s primarily being used as a distribution channel, which is very wrong. How many of you use a plugin that automatically shares new blog posts on every social network where you have an account with the same post title and message? Each social network has a completely different audience with different tastes, desires and expectations. One message or article does not fit all. Therefore, mass producing a link across all networks is a waste of opportunity and resources.
Instead, get to know your networks and the users and determine who they are, their likes, dislikes and what make them tick. For your next article or post that you’d like to “distribute”, coin a different messaged suited for each audience and assess the results and interaction it receives. I can guarantee you that overtime you’ll experience better results through improved clickthroughs and feedback. Instead of always be closing, always be valuable and relevant. Distribution comes after.
Here’s What You Should Do
Online marketing is no longer a game of random pokes and tweets but is a science that performs well when real data is used to execute campaigns. This data is free and accessible to anyone with eyes to see. Spend some time getting to know who your followers and online friends are and collect data relating to their habits, wants and needs. Oftentimes, the average user through their numerous conversations and activities online will share these bits.
Quit focusing on closing but instead launch a marketing campaign geared towards starting conversations based on the characters of the people in your network. If you see a prospect who could potentially buy your service on social media, fight the urge to picth, find out what he or she likes and start talking. Certainly, you have to genuinely care about what that person has to say, it’s marketing but it cannot be treated in that way.
There’s a reason why social media marketing is not converting for you and the most common reason is that networks are diluted by messages that have lost their impact. Your messages might very well be included. Blindness is not solely experienced with banner ads but is a dilemma present everywhere in marketing as we gain more control of what we digitally consume. The more native your messages, stories and presence is the more people will notice you and offer a chunk of their attention to hear what you have to say and even buy what you have to sell. So stop closing and start communicating.