I like to pick up a few social media consulting gigs from time to time. I do this less for the money and more for the challenge of looking at another business situation and analyzing how they can create better relationships. Recently I had a meeting with a wonderful company that is on the verge of rolling out a great new product for their customers who they value. In this meeting I was hit with the simplest yet most complex question.
Why should I care?
Here is the reality. If you are a traditional marketer you shouldn’t care. Social media hates you. You push out messages and want no response other than a sale. You think of your customers in terms of sales numbers. You want to be able to tie a marketing event with a consumer action. You want customer service to handle product complaints. You want to disguise the reality of your product in lingo and lies. You should honestly stay as far away from social media as possible because you can’t handle what it means.
I’ve been careful in my consulting to avoid these types of companies. I’ve turned down a number who want to use social media to push a product. To be successful a company practice love, not sales.
Love, in social media, happens when a company who cares more about customers than products. That is a company that cares more about building positive relationships than selling you what is hot today. The funny thing is that building this positive relationship creates far more product sales than simply selling a product ever could. You should care about social media only because you care for your customers and desire a positive relationship with them. Customers want to be loved, not sold.