Cocktail Party Marketing
In my last blog, I wrote that marketing campaigns are dead and that marketing today is a conversation. The "traditional" marketing was known as outbound or push advertising. Under the new rules of marketing, because of changes in buyer behavior, inbound marketing is becoming much more effective and popular.
We pull people in to our business by creating messages that offer useful information, tools and resources to attract people to our website or business. Our conversations must engage, interact with and develop relationships with people. Social media marketing is a way to deliver content that achieves these objectives. How do we do that? By thinking in terms of conversations as I detailed in my previous blog. Another way of thinking about Social Media Marketing or Inbound Marketing is as a cocktail party.
Can you imagine going to a cocktail party and taking over by speaking loudly and interupting the small groups to announce your latest accomplishments, your closeouts or special pricing offers?
Would you bring a credit card imprinter or processor and an order pad and try selling to everyone and anyone whenever you had the chance?
What if you had cards printed with your talking points and you gave these out and tried to guide each conversation to cover your features and benefits?
You know better than that. You know that you wouldn't be a welcome guest if you acted so borishly. It would be inappropriate for the context of the party. In the same way, overtly selling and pushing your sales messages on Social Media defeats the purpose and is contrary to the context of the medium.
Just as the cocktail party is the reception or opening warm-up to another event, your inbound marketing efforts should be an means to warm up your audience. You'll never have a cold call with a prospect that you develop through social media or inbound marketing efforts.
Always keep in mind the importance of conversation. If you get so focused on pushing a specific message out, you will come across as lecturing. Remember to be a good listener because this is your opportunity to get real-time, real-life feedback. You can learn what your audience is looking for from service providers, learn what their pain points are, and what they need to make their job easier and for them to have a great buying experience. You can use this medium to explore new service offerings, to get feedback on new product offerings and new approaches to sales and customer service.
Remember to be genuine and to be genuinely interested in their side of the conversation. People can spot a phony a mile away. Like at a cocktail party, have fun and make new friends. You'll be on your way to the new rules of marketing: Turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into raving fans!