Social Media and Marketing: Using Your Head

During my usual weekly rummage through the delights of the Internet I came across this absolutely wonderful post by Frank Strong, the director of Public Relations at Vocus & PRWeb, a client of TopRank Online Marketing and featured on Top Rank Blog.com. It was called “7 Social Media Lessons from Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid”.

A well crafted, currently relevant (vis a vis Karate Kid 2010) and a fondly nostalgic blog post, it really summed up the best way to approach social media and the ways I myself try to approach it. However, out of all the words of Miyagi wisdom “using head for something other than target” hit home the most for me as I see this applying to all forms of marketing and promotion, not just social media.

The biggest mistake businesses make in marketing is trying to sell.

Marketing (removing advertising and direct mail from this) is not about selling. It is about communicating. It is about building relationships with your customers and those people you want to become your customers. It’s about trust.

And it’s hard to trust someone who just wants you to buy something and doesn’t really appear to care about anything else. This is why successful Twitterers are those who engage and share. This is why successful online (and offline) networkers are those who ask questions and listen. So coming back to social media and Mister Miyagi:

Here are my three Once A Day Tips to help you Use Your Head in social media:

  1. Share something relevant to your area of expertise with your community or
  2. Answer one question or reply to one comment, using your business expertise or personal experience, or
  3. Create a communication that is simply fun, spontaneous or interesting and nothing to do with your business expertise.

If you can do one of these once a day and avoid the sell, then your profile on social media platforms will become more credible and more valuable to the people you share it with. And in turn you’ll find it will become a more effective marketing strategy for you.