What 70s Rock Teaches Us About Modern Social Media

Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Aug 23, 2016 No Comments

One is the Loneliest Number

Back in the 1970′s there was a very successful rock band by the name of Three Dog Night. And they had a very popular song titled “One.” Three Dog Night’s “One” is a great example of what no longer works for marketing.

This old way to sell your services and the concept of One-Ness is what we now refer to as Outbound Marketing — where brands develop a consistent message and push it out far and wide in the hopes that it will resonate and result in sales. One brand. One message. One voice. All applied consistently across a variety of mediums. This approach is over, much like the popularity of Three Dog Night themselves.

Today in the age of Inbound Marketing, where getting discovered by and engaging with your customer base has emerged as a more influential method of communication, the idea of One is no longer sustainable and is truly the loneliest of numbers.

Social Media By Itself is Not a Real Community, So Don’t Fool Yourself Into Thinking It’s So

Any social media agency worth their proverbial weight in whichever mineral you’d like to use as simile, should tell you this. If you’re working with an agency that doesn’t, you probably should find a new one. Some social media “experts” will happily fill your head with what you want to hear while also gladly cashing the checks you give them. We don’t. But then, we’re known for not being your “normal” agency. By itself, social media is not a real community. Instead, it’s merely a gateway to community, the success of which is completely up to you provided that you take five simple steps to make it so.

1. Network

Taking the “Build It and They Will Come” approach will result in less dream and more nightmare. When it comes to online social media activities, draw on your existing offline networking strategies. As a business owner, you should already be constantly networking — always meeting others both in and out of your field, sharing information about your business and your personal business experiences, and developing lasting, meaningful relationships. Your social media activities shouldn’t be much different. You need to locate your customers wherever they are and join them on their playing field. Initiating such relationships are the key to offline networking, and social media is no different.

2. Listen

The best problem solver in the room is usually also the best listener. And it’s just as important to listen to your online community as it is to the customers walking through your door or calling you on the phone. Remember it’s the voice of your customer and the value of their opinions that’s the primary reason you’re undertaking social media activities in the first place. Your goal should be to encourage the exchange of dialogue, whether good or bad, showing customers that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. You either joined them on their turf, or they took the initiative to join you. Either way you need to listen, even when you don’t like what you hear. Remember first and foremost, it’s their words and their mouths that are the backbone of your word-of-mouth advertising and community efforts.

3. Learn

Unless you already know everything, and you don’t, there’s always something to learn from your community. Take every opportunity to educate yourself about your customers. Embrace what they say about you, your products or your services. This information will help you in a variety of ways, including giving you valuable insight on how to improve what you’re offering. Just because you’ve got an MBA from a well-respected university and your customers haven’t been fortunate to even attend college, doesn’t mean they can’t tell you a thing or two about your product. Dismissing their insights for any reason can potentially result in failure.

4. Cultivate

Inbound Marketing thrives on the free exchange of ideas. Censoring your members in any way or hiding negative feedback from public view may have very dangerous repercussions. We recently posted an article, with the tongue-in-cheek title “How to Censor Your Social Media and Still Thrive at Word-of-Mouth Marketing,” that addresses just this issue. There are very few instances that we would ever recommend setting up roadblocks to communication, or worse, editing or otherwise censoring community members. View such issues as an opportunity to effect change. You can read our thoughts on the topic here.

5. Engage

The way to hold an actual dialogue is to engage. Everyone says it: engage, engage, engage. And we say, engage some more. And just as in offline conversations, the only way to truly engage is to support open, honest and, most importantly, sincere communication with your online community. This isn’t about talking AT your members; but instead talking WITH them. You’re a real human being and so are your community members. And you need to act like one. Be open to collaboration and the two-way sharing of ideas and feedback. There are literally hundreds of examples of successful social media communities, and the common thread among each is the ongoing engagement between all members. Only if you’re committed to open and honest engagement will you be successful at Inbound Marketing.

Leave One-Ness in the Past Where it Belongs

Your social media activities aren’t much different than daily interactions with family, friends, colleagues, or strangers on the street. As with offline relationships, online social activity needs to be initiated, nurtured, tested, refined and nurtured some more. It’s a constantly evolving process and one that you can’t stop once you start.

In the age of Inbound Marketing, there’s no single method of connecting with and cultivating relationships; there are hundreds. No longer do the old ways of doing things work. We suggest you heed the message of Three Dog Night and incorporate the above steps into your social media plans. The easiest way to ensure that your Inbound Marketing efforts fall short of your goal is to continue to embrace the concept of One.

Related posts:

  1. How to Monitor Your Social Media Campaigns in 30 Minutes or Less
  2. How to Censor Your Social Media and Still Thrive at Word-of-Mouth Marketing
  3. A Crash Course in Social Media that’s Both Fast and Free!
  4. Social Media: Welcome to the Hotel California. You Can Never Leave.
  5. Social Media Audits: Why Give Them Away for Free?
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