Is it just me or have you noticed that social media is largely driven by narcissism; or an inordinate love of oneself? I‘m generalizing again, and I hate generalizations. Clearly, people have lots of reasons for being on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, whatever, but by and large isn’t it’s overwhelming popularity because most of us kind of enjoy being “liked?” If we’re honest, we have to admit most of us like to have people acknowledge our presence, our creativity, our comments, our existence on the world wide web. We want to have lots of friends around us and we desire to have many great conversations with them. Conversations with friends are one of the greatest things about being human after all.
Who Are You?
Social media gives us a chance to share our persona, our uniqueness, or even our sameness in some cases. We can share our opinions, our videos, our photos; we can join ranks and share groups with others of the same ilk, and of course, we get to chat and engage people about our favorite topics… but how many would do so if there were not a system of “liking” or “+1ing?” (Don’t worry, I’m sure that “+1ing” will soon be a recognized word in the english language, if it’s not already.)
So Who Cares?
Marketers should care. The fact that people want to be liked and want to be part of a community should not be lost on those who seek to build a successful business today. Social media provides (in most cases free!) ways to locate and connect with millions of buyers who care about what you do. You can create a community or two and engage them in great conversation and perhaps even add them to your pipeline. In today’s economy, information and tactics are not assets, relationships and conversations are.
But I’m Just Not a Facebook Person…
A customer of mine said this to me the other day when I was speaking with them about social media marketing. I said maybe so, but your customers are… about 900 million of them. Statistically, those people who have Facebook accounts spend 17% of their online time on Facebook. That’s more time than they spend on email or listening to the radio. Are you sure you want to ignore an audience that large? You don’t have to be a “Facebook person” to use Facebook to get your name in front of people looking for what you do. It’s not about what kind of person you are. It’s about what kind of person your customer is.
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
Whether you personally like being liked, or whether you admit it or not is your concern. But don’t confuse your personal bent with your customers. Statistically speaking, your prospective customers are on social media and they are chatting it up about everything. Even if you are “not a facebook person, why not at least use social media to find out everything you can about how to turn their heads: Where do they hang out? What do they care about most? What are they talking about? What makes them laugh? What pisses them off? What are their hopes and dreams? It costs little or nothing to find out, once you stop thinking like yourself and start thinking like your customer. Join the conversation. See where it takes you. You might even get liked!