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What You Do Versus What You Say

Aaron has a great post about PR agencies in the social media / web 2.o space. Worth a read, if only for the Office Space inspired giggle.  Reading this made my brain connect what Aaron had written with a thought I had been having all morning about authenticity.

The attraction of blogging and social marketing for companies is strong. There is a feeling that with a little bit of cunning you can siphon off some of this juicy traffic and pump up your product. A lot of tips and advice out there reinforces this belief. Added to this, look at all these tools that are available now allowing you to “submit your content to hundreds of social media sites simultaneously”. Um, submit a lame story all you like, you ain’t going to get voted on!

Reality fortunately shows that this is not true. It is a lot harder to profitably game the system for your own commercial benefit than it appears.

It’s a real shame that many of these companies are going to try a half-hearted approach at gaming social media then decide that social media “doesn’t work”. If they would only truly engage the audience, take time to truly participate and create value, they might see a whole lot of benefit for both their company and their customers.

I have said this before but it is worth repeating. You have to start with the audience, what they need.  But saying the right things is not enough, you have to show with your behavior that you really get it.

Attracting an audience with the right words in the right places will only work so long, sooner or later you have to truly deliver what your audience came to find. If you attract people with one story but tell another with the way you act then those people who were once attracted and favorable will feel cheated. Consider Apple, they have a huge fan-base and now pundits are squawking about their percentage of the PC market but Mac customers don’t see Apple as a PC company. If they started selling generic beige boxes would the customers stick around?

Social media and blog marketing are not throwaway tactics, attracting an audience this way is setting up a promise that you are going to make yourself an authentic part of the conversation. Don’t waste the opportunity by only putting on an act, really take part and you will be rewarded.

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Comments

  1. It’s all about the relationship, and that’s what a lot of people don’t get, yet. They still think of blogs and social media as another “push” channel.

  2. It’s all about the relationship, and that’s what a lot of people don’t get, yet. They still think of blogs and social media as another “push” channel.

  3. Absolutely. A lot of companies are used to writing a check and waiting for results, it is a much more involved strategy and that can come as a shock

  4. Absolutely. A lot of companies are used to writing a check and waiting for results, it is a much more involved strategy and that can come as a shock

  5. Yes. Relationship. Which takes time. Which is also why I didn’t jump on the BlogRush wagon to tell the truth. I see no need to rush. There is just something rich about conversations with meaning. Conversations that build connection. Which is one of the reasons I keep coming back to read and to post here.

  6. Yes. Relationship. Which takes time. Which is also why I didn’t jump on the BlogRush wagon to tell the truth. I see no need to rush. There is just something rich about conversations with meaning. Conversations that build connection. Which is one of the reasons I keep coming back to read and to post here.

  7. Chris, this is my favourite post yet.

    A very wise man (Mike Michalowicz @ Obsidian Launch to be precise) introduced me to a blueprint for decision making that ensures you make decisions that are authentic to you and your company and your customer. You only ever need these 3 questions.

    1. Do is fit with our core values
    2. Does it better suit the needs of our ‘perfect customer’ (here you actually ask some of them)
    3. Does it improve our bottom line

    Of course this requires that you’ve done the hard work and defined your core values and your ‘perfect customer’ but after that this makes every decision super simple and gives customers a chance to be part of the process which can strengthen the relationship. I think instinctively many of us already follow this process but it’s good to spell it out too.

    Anyway, I think I’ve ranted on long enough 🙂

  8. Chris, this is my favourite post yet.

    A very wise man (Mike Michalowicz @ Obsidian Launch to be precise) introduced me to a blueprint for decision making that ensures you make decisions that are authentic to you and your company and your customer. You only ever need these 3 questions.

    1. Do is fit with our core values
    2. Does it better suit the needs of our ‘perfect customer’ (here you actually ask some of them)
    3. Does it improve our bottom line

    Of course this requires that you’ve done the hard work and defined your core values and your ‘perfect customer’ but after that this makes every decision super simple and gives customers a chance to be part of the process which can strengthen the relationship. I think instinctively many of us already follow this process but it’s good to spell it out too.

    Anyway, I think I’ve ranted on long enough 🙂

  9. Ed Erickson says:

    Great post Chris. You’re playing my music.

    Not sure I really see your point with the PC v. Mac analogy. A Mac is a personal computer just like a PC, and they are competing for the same market. Being a Mac enthusiast after many years on a PC, I have no problems with sales metrics touting that. Now if they really did make bland units like you went on to say, then I’d really have a problem. Thankfully, that will never happen. The fact that you can run Windows via virtual machine makes for the easiest transition. I am a happy *customer*. Got a new “bad” habit though… I just can’t stop buying more macs than I need, even though they can be a tad more pricey up front. Go figure. We pay for what we want/enjoy/love.

  10. Ed Erickson says:

    Great post Chris. You’re playing my music.

    Not sure I really see your point with the PC v. Mac analogy. A Mac is a personal computer just like a PC, and they are competing for the same market. Being a Mac enthusiast after many years on a PC, I have no problems with sales metrics touting that. Now if they really did make bland units like you went on to say, then I’d really have a problem. Thankfully, that will never happen. The fact that you can run Windows via virtual machine makes for the easiest transition. I am a happy *customer*. Got a new “bad” habit though… I just can’t stop buying more macs than I need, even though they can be a tad more pricey up front. Go figure. We pay for what we want/enjoy/love.

  11. Nice Opinions. I see lot of people trying to ‘game’ the social media and blog now. I have a lot of email offering me to buy a service to boost my blog post to the front page with exchange of 2 digit bucks.
    personally I never buy that offer because I don’t like a “rushing” traffic which come and go away like a wind.

    I prefer to build slow but sure. I think that the keep to gain the ‘original’ success.

  12. Nice Opinions. I see lot of people trying to ‘game’ the social media and blog now. I have a lot of email offering me to buy a service to boost my blog post to the front page with exchange of 2 digit bucks.
    personally I never buy that offer because I don’t like a “rushing” traffic which come and go away like a wind.

    I prefer to build slow but sure. I think that the keep to gain the ‘original’ success.

  13. What resources do you use to define your audience?

  14. What resources do you use to define your audience?

  15. @Erica – Excellent point, it is well worth taking the time to build quality relationships, definitely.

    @LAChick – Keep ranting, it’s great 🙂

    @Ed – On the Apple thing I just meant when I buy a mac I feel I am buying more than “just a pc”, I wouldn’t want them to lose the magic that lured me even if they are categorized by the industry as just another PC manufacturer. Make sense?

    @Ken – Yup, by rushing or lurching from one direction to another we end up losing the people we wanted to attract

    @Celine – Mostly pen portraits, analytics and speaking to people. I find you have to use a combination along with your own instincts.

  16. @Erica – Excellent point, it is well worth taking the time to build quality relationships, definitely.

    @LAChick – Keep ranting, it’s great 🙂

    @Ed – On the Apple thing I just meant when I buy a mac I feel I am buying more than “just a pc”, I wouldn’t want them to lose the magic that lured me even if they are categorized by the industry as just another PC manufacturer. Make sense?

    @Ken – Yup, by rushing or lurching from one direction to another we end up losing the people we wanted to attract

    @Celine – Mostly pen portraits, analytics and speaking to people. I find you have to use a combination along with your own instincts.