Earlier today I posted the 100,000 viewers gif from my other blog. Since then, 200+ more people have come and gone (and I hope subscribed), so I feel secure that people are getting value from the virtual time they spend with me.
I want to use this blog (Word Whisperer) to impart wisdom to business owners and entrepreneurs as much as I can. I want you to get something out of it because we’re all busy and I don’t want to waste anyone’s rare, spare time. So I’m wondering what kinds of questions I can answer for you from a copywriter’s or small business owner’s perspective.
Yesterday I posted my 10-30 second elevator speech/commercial. Today–and until I hear back from you about what you want to know–I’ll cover a few things about creating compelling, converting copy, in case any of you are writing your own marketing or social media materials.
Memorize This: “Social Media Isn’t About Selling!”
Hear me loud and clear on this one. An occasional “shout out” on social media about your product, service or cause (especially if something truly noteworthy and beyond-the-norm is happening in your realm) isn’t going to cause people to run screaming for the exits, but unless your blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feeds are MOSTLY (98% or more) dedicated to getting readers to know, like and trust you aside from what you do for a living and what you hope to compel them to do for your bottom line, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.
Social media was developed to create relationships (fond bonds) and to share valuable, helpful information. Clueless business owners, entrepreneurs and corporations looked over the social media landscape (as they did decades earlier during the advent of the Internet) and smelled potential additional “target audiences” and $$$$, so they started pushing their products, services and causes the way it worked back when TV, radio and magazines were the primary outlets for advertisers. Back then, the copy was one-sided (B2C, Business to Consumer) and designed to get the biggest bang for the advertising buck. “Lots of you have this problem; we have the solution. Buy now.”
It doesn’t work that way in social media. People are inundated with thousands of advertisements every day– on TV, radio, at the mall, in the movies, and driving along the boulevards and streets where they live, work and play. And guess what? Just like you, most people have programmed themselves to ignore B2C ads.
If you’re doing the same thing within social media circles that you’re successfully (or hope-fully) doing elsewhere because it’s FREE to do it here, STOP IT! What visitors to social media sites–including your blog–expect to find is valuable information; fun, entertaining moments; and a person: YOU! People do business with people they know, like and trust. Presuming you’re likeable and transparent to begin with (anyone following me probably is!), your job on social media is to be YOU. (You aren’t always selling, are you? If you are, get a life! People love to buy but they hate being sold to!)
Social media is your chance to “kick your shoes off” and “set a spell” with the people who want to get to know you better. (I know “set” is wrong but The Beverly Hillbillies’ theme song is playing in my head as write this, and I can’t over-ride it just to prove I’m a Grammar Nazi!)
Read Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen for a primer on how to do it right. Then do it. Otherwise, your social media efforts will work against you. If you spend a lot of time on social media, shooting yourself in the foot is beyond easy to do: just push what you offer without reprieve.