Gary Vaynerchuk’s in 1,424,988 Google+ circles, and has 935,967 followers on Twitter. Bring up his Facebook page, and there are 85,935 likes on it. Clearly, the man knows about social media.
And he doesn’t just know about it, he confesses to loving it. His reason? “It sells stuff.” If you’re selling “stuff,” whether products or services, learning how to use it effectively, will make you an enthusiast as well.
During a webinar hosted by Marketing Cloud, Vaynerchuk explained the social media equivalent story of bacon and eggs for breakfast. You know the one; the hen is involved, but the pig is committed.
Smart business people need to fully commit to social media to maximize its benefits, he says. By mapping a potential client or customer on a number of social sites–think LinkedIn plus Twitter plus Facebook (as well as any other sites you can manage)–you’ll get a complete picture of how your prospect sees the world.
For example, you learn about someone’s social side by becoming a friend or fan on Facebook, discover their business side by connecting on LinkedIn, and find out what they’re tossing off by following them on Twitter. Then, you can respond to what excites and interests them, so that they see how they’ll benefit by working with you.
Let’s say someone you’re interested in working with shares a tweet about Britney Spears. Vaynerchuk says, “Say ‘I love Britney Spears, too.’ Personal information connects you.”
Gary Vaynerchuk photo by Erik Kastner
Social Media Combines Content and Context
See social in terms of content marketing and context marketing. Content marketing offers information through a video, an infographic, or a blog post like this. It’s more like publicity or advertising where a company pushes out information. Context marketing is community management. Here’s where you engage with customers and clients.
Interacting on social sites offers us context, Vaynerchuk says. “The more we know about others, the more global ammunition we have,” he says. We want to understand who they are, he says, and then we want to use a combination of email or social media to make them a client.
Five Social Media Must-Knows
1. What if you’re short of time?
“If you don’t have time, the answer is you stop doing the dumb ‘stuff.'” Just like the Navy carves out a budget for the Navy SEALs, Vaynerchuk says you have to allocate the time for social media–it’s that important.
2. You tried it and it was a non-starter
Everything has failed, he points out, not just social media; TV commercials were a bust when they were first tested.
3. It takes too long to take off
Social media is not good at doing short term, he says. Play long term, because owning a relationship takes time. It rarely converts on on a KPI (key performance indicator), but he says, it converts more quickly when you take care of others.
4. It’s too noisy?
Vaynerchuk says, “What breaks through when everyone is talking? The listeners.” Be a good listener, and a responder, rather than strutting your stuff.
5. Being human matters
Automate zero in social media, he says, because if you treat it as just a push platform, it doesn’t work. You need to buy equity in people by caring about them first, then when you go for the ask, it’s easier.
Vaynerchuk put it in business terms, but his advice essentially breaks down to what your mother told you. Social media works when you take an interest in others, share what you have, behave nicely, and give everyone a turn.
If you want more ideas about bringing in business, I can help. I’ve been a retail reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and Home Furnishings News, a columnist at the Miami Herald and a correspondent at People.
I’ve also handled the marketing and public relations at major corporations and small businesses. Need a speaker or a consultant? Get in touch at Ask Laurel (one word) at laureltielis.com or connect with me at LinkedIn.
Copyright © 2012 Laurel Tielis