Last weekend I took my youngest daughter for a bicycle ride to a local variety store to buy her a toy. She had tidied up her bedroom and made a particularly cute request for the excursion. It turned out to be a great idea. We had a remarkable customer experience which got me thinking about the positive impact of being socially motivated. The way the sales clerk engaged us and earned my trust is a valuable lesson for social media marketers.
So what can a 16 year old kid teach us about social media marketing? He was genuinely socially motivated. You know how when you walk into a retail store the staff often pounce on you and ask if they can ‘help’ you? Not this kid. He started a sincere conversation about my dog (tied up outside the store).
Admittedly I do have an awesome dog (pictured below) who had joined us for the exercise. However this guy showed such authentic interest in my dog that he made us feel very welcome in the store.
Now he may have just been bored at the end of his Saturday shift and felt like some conversation. But because we were chatting about something he knew I was interested in rather than pointing out store specials, he quickly earned my trust.
While we were chatting he subtly took note of the items that I was interested in while my daughter was choosing her toy. Leisure items, iPhone accessories and some headphones. Then he grabs this fluffy pink travel pillow, wraps it around his neck and says: “Hey check this out”.
He looked ridiculous and we both had a good laugh. Then he pulled out a headphone jack and indicated it actually has built in speakers for an iPod. He didn’t look any less ridiculous, but he had my attention. It was the last one in stock and it was pink. By this time my daughter had chosen her toy and was fascinated by the fluffy pink iPod pillow.
Needless to say we made an extra purchase. On the ride home I couldn’t stop thinking about how more social media marketers would benefit if they adopted this kids approach. Just like untrained retail staff, too many marketers pounce and go straight for the sales pitch. Social media presents a great opportunity to chat with your market, build trust, find out what they like and then ‘socially’ offer what you’ve got for them. Preferably in that order.
Here is a typical example of a marketer getting it wrong
Whenever I see something like this in my feed I immediately ‘Unlike‘ (or unfollow) the brand. Imagine if someone spoke to you like that in real life: “Come down this Thursday arvo” (BTW that means afternoon in Aussie slang), “Put this in your diary”, You gotta sign up”, check out my blatant self promotion. It’s arrogant and there is nothing social about it.
They’ve got the wrong motivation. Think ‘Socially’ first. Very few people will be interested in your brand or what you have to offer until there is a relationship of some sort. A dialogue. Trust.
That’s where the kid with the fluffy pillow nailed it (whether he knew it or not). He was socially motivated. He had fun quickly building a relationship, learning about his prospect and then making a solid, trusted recommendation.
Key Take-Out’s for Social Media Marketers:
* Get your motivation right ~ Think ‘Social’
* Start a conversation with something your market is interested in (not necessarily your product)
* Have fun with that conversation and learn about your market
* Build trust and form relationships
* Subtly & socially position your offering when the time is right
Social media is all about connections, relationships and conversations. It’s not about marketing at all. When your approach is socially motivated like the fluffy pillow kid you will inevitably make connections, build relationships and enjoy conversations. Don’t forget to make sure people know what you have to offer. Just do it socially.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and the photo of my dog Buddy above. If you have, please consider sharing this story so that we can encourage marketers to use social media for what it’s meant for. Being social. Thanks for reading and sharing. I’ll look forward to seeing you back here next week.