When it comes to social media, which if these two camps do you fall into:
- You think social media is a giant waste of time;
- You realize that social media can help you build your business.
Either way, you are right!
On the one hand, attempting to make money by increasing your Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers” is a losing battle. Having a ton of fans and followers might help you win a popularity contest, but that’s about it.
And certainly, posting status updates and “checking in” just so you can stay on people’s minds is not a good use of time—not even close. In fact I bet you will agree that nothing will put you to sleep faster than:
- Posting messages about your real estate symposium,
- Inviting people to your virtual credit repair seminar,
- Sharing links to your dry corporate newsletter that profiles your employees,
- Asking for donations to your cause.
If you are using Facebook and Twitter to send such messages, you are missing the point … and, you are most likely being ignored or, worse yet, blocked by your fans, friends, and followers.
As a company that has helped sell millions of dollars worth of items online, Elovon has come to notice that even organizations that do recognize the importance of social networking sites often misuse and misunderstand their power. Indeed, most companies and non-profits use Facebook and Twitter to post purely commercial messages.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites are about creating, maintaining, and facilitating personal relationships. People visit these sites during their downtime (or when they need a break from work). They do not visit these sites expecting to read information akin to corporate brochures.
The key, as with any other online relationship, is to create an emotional connection. When done right, a company can use social networking sites to bond with clients, potential clients, or—in the case of nonprofits—a constituency.
And yes, you can create an emotional connection … even if you do not know your “friends” and “followers.”
In fact, I bet you can think of more than a few people you follow that you do not know (or at least you do not know well). Most social network users have certain “friends” and feeds that they pay more attention to online. These likely include their closest friends and family members, as well as people they barely know, such as …
- High school acquaintances whose status updates make them burst out laughing,
- Clients whose pages are a gathering place for controversy,
- The former co-worker who posts juicy gossip about colleagues,
- Distant relatives who share intimate details about their personal lives, and
- Organizations with whom you share a passion.
Every single one of these cases illustrates the importance of drawing followers and friends into a personal relationship (albeit online).
And this is why I believe that if you want to connect with your audience and persuade them to donate money to your cause, you should NOT be professional …
This might sound over-the-top. After all, you wouldn’t want to offend your friends and followers by being unprofessional.
When I say that you should not be professional, I mean that you should turn your back on appearing to be “corporate.” Instead, get down to the nitty gritty and truly connect with your constituents.
Be sure to read my next post, where I’ll give you an example of how you can make personal connections to increase your bottom line!