If you want to be liked, be likeable.
It’s topic that’s been beaten to pulp, but it merits examination nonetheless. How so many PR people still don’t get it. Ditto for marketing types, salespeople, engineers, bean-counters and even veteran business owners.
The “it” here is social marketing. AKA, social media, socmedia, real-time marketing, and various other handles used to describe how products and services make themselves known and, presumably, more prominent today. I concur. Web 2.0, the power train of the social net, has sharpened the dual-edge sword of real-time, customer-empowering commerce. Or e-commerce.
I see the misunderstandings and misguided tactics boiling down to this: too many marketers insist on implementing the fine-point tools of social marketing much like the door-bashing, battering rams you see DEA agents using on reality TV when they’re busting some hapless miscreant. OK, an overstatement perhaps. But you get the point.
Social marketing is a game played by different rules than the ones that prevailed in the misty, pre-Internet marketing and advertising landscape. Those of a certain age, however, will recall “relationship marketing” at the dawn of the era. Remember? Social marketing (SM) is nothing more or less that the concept of relationship marketing (RM) in Internet time.
The big difference: today’s buyer now has it all over the seller. Once you get your mind wrapped around this, your marching orders as a marketer today become clear.
First, establish yourself as a trusted source rather than a sales agent. You slowly build a bond between yourself and the other person as a human being, not a “target”. One at a time. Same way you do in your offline social life.
Show candor, respect, humor, restraint, humility and humanity. Strive to establish a relationship that delivers mutual value by focusing exclusively on the value that you purport to deliver. Once this becomes recognized by the other party, the relationship can get underway.
Word of caution: there are no shortcuts, workarounds, or express lanes to your destination. It’s a time-and-labor-intensive process, but copping to this is the first step in getting there. All the next ones have to do with being liked.
So it’s no different than your offline social life. And putting it into practice makes all the difference.