How are You Using Social Media?

The first thing I want to admit is I’m no expert on social media.  There’s nothing technical I can tell you that will increase your audience, sales.  People of my generation (I’m too old to be called a baby boomer, folks) struggle with technology like pitchers struggle to get Albert Pujols out; it isn’t pretty, if you catch my drift.  Still, as is usually the case when my knowledge is limited about a subject, I have forged ahead with aggressive ignorance and plunged right in.  So, although I have nothing technical to offer you, I do believe my one year of social-media interaction, especially on Twitter, has given me some valuable insight, which will make a huge difference for you.  I hope so.

It’s been my experience that when I follow someone on Twitter, I either get no response at all, or I get a “Thanks for the follow,” along with a link to something I can read or purchase; no expression of interest about me, none whatsoever.  This nonsensical approach, which lets me know the person I’ve expressed interest in by following has no interest in me other than to see me as a customer to sell something to.  I find this appalling, to say nothing of being steeped in sales ignorance.  It defies the sales axiom that it’s all about the customer, not the salesperson or what he’s/she’s selling.

When someone follows me on Twitter, I usually send out the following messages:

“Thanks for following; I’ve reciprocated.  Hope you’ll write to and tell me all about yourself.  I’m truly interested.”  I might add, if my interest is especially acute, that I’d like to get to know the individual and offer my phone number, suggest we talk.  This, by the way, has led to dozens of telephone conversations and rewarding friendships.

I’ll finish with, “If I can help, be supportive in some way, don’t hesitate to ask.  That’s what my retirement career is all about—helping people, giving back for a lifetime of blessings.”

If because of various reasons I don’t feel comfortable following back right away, I say this: “Thanks for following.  I follow back when someone’s work, purpose intrigues me.  Hope you’ll write to and tell me all about yourself–sort of a who, what, where, why, and how.”  I’ll then add the “help, supportive paragraph” above.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your products or services via social media; you should be doing that.  I’m suggesting, though, you first get to know the person you’re dealing with, establish a semblance of a relationship before you try to get the person to be your customer.  There’s a reason it’s called social media, folks!  It calls for you to be social!  If you show no personal interest in the people you’re interacting with, you’re missing the entire point of social media.  You’re leaving your followers with your coldness towards them, and people don’t buy from people they feel are being cold to them.

Or are you the exception to that rule?

I didn’t think so.

If you want to argue that you don’t have the time for my kind of personal interaction, so be it; but a word to the wise: time spent doing something the right way is never wasted—but time spent doing something the wrong way is always wasted.

Show a genuine interest in people and they’ll show a genuine interest in you; and they just may wind up buying something from you.