So it is common among entrepreneurs and business owners to have groups that get together for breakfast, lunch or dinner to discuss business and offer help and assistance. These are great groups that help strengthen and grow businesses. Another part of this group is for businesses to recommend and help promote each other. This promotion is part of the deal is where I see so many business people fall short on social media.
This isn’t a post about those business owners that look at Facebook or Twitter as an opportunity for a written radio or TV spot. We all know that a twitter stream full of commercials is not an effective policy. No this post is about those owners that think social media users are there to just promote for them. They’ve watched to many Kevin Costner movies and they actually think if I tweet it, they will come. Well they’re in for a rude awakening.
I don’t remember the business owner’s name, lucky them but what I do remember is how they acted. We were having a social media happy hour that we are prone to have in our area. These are always open events that anyone is allowed to show up and we try to invite people we know and those we don’t. We invite them from every social site we’re on and we love meeting new people. Anyways while at this event the business owner walked up and introduced themselves to us. Some small talk trying to get to know the person and their business when they did something I couldn’t believe.
“say you guys need to promote this thing for me on social media since you guys have more followers than me” they said.
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“scuse me?” I thought.
“Did you just do that to us?” I thought.
With a nod and a chuckle we continued the conversation trying to ignore what had just happened.
I don’t care who you are but asking for a favor from people who you just met doesn’t work. As users of social media we’re not some two-bit whore who’ll jump at the chance to promote whatever walks in the room. In fact those with larger followers are probably more particular about promoting anything since they understand they are putting their name on it.
The problem is some don’t understand that social media is about building relationships. I mean actual work at building these relationships. Once those relationships exist then businesses don’t need to ask for recommendations because their genuine fans will do it on their own. For business owners it is really not that difficult just follow a few steps.
• Take the time.
• Build the relationships
• Be real, be known
Once you build your relationships with your customers and your fans then you can ask for their assistance in passing the word. Don’t ask them to recite a commercial, ask them to tell the truth about you and your company.