I’ve had several great discussions this week with fellow inbound marketers. In every discussion, it always came around to this idea that our customers, many of them small to medium businesses, are still very confused about how social media is going to make them more money. It’s not even that they are skeptical, but they just don’t understand the linkage yet. This is a great opportunity for a storytelling fool like me.
Stop Thinking Like You
One of the things I love about my job is when I see the lightbulb come on in my customers heads. Inevitably, when we discuss social media, they get this twisted up look on their faces and blurt out that they “have a Facebook page,” as if they are still not convinced it means squat, but dutifully have created one because that’s what everyone else is doing. I love the look I get when I tell them to stop thinking like themselves and start thinking like their customers. It’s as though a big lightbulb has come on in their heads.
Inbound Marketing 101
In many cases, it’s as though I have just given my customer permission to step out of their own way of thinking for a moment and see things from a totally new perspective: the view from inside the head of the consumer. Inbound marketing is not hard. It’s a matter of getting your arms around what is interesting, educational, amusing or inspirational to buyers and telling a story that puts them in touch with it.
The Big Scary Monster of Social Media
Many business owners, particularly the older generation, seem to have a real problem with social media. I was talking to a very successful VP of sales for a large software company who told me that he was very uncomfortable with social media. He doesn’t understand it. He uses it because the CEO says it’s the new thing, but whatever. The problem is that he failed to realize that the same communication skills he has honed over the past 20 years in the field, chatting with customers is exactly what would allow him to use social media to grow his business exponentially. It’s not that much different than chatting in a bar dude, except you get to chat with people all over the globe.
I Can Haz Internet Presence?
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past 15 years, you know that many businesses have been wildly successful with the help of social media. That’s mostly because they have found out what the public likes and have used social channels to promote and share it (like this upstart who just won 30M in financing for his little internet biz.) You can inspire an audience too. Stop thinking like you and start thinking like your customers. See where that takes you!