I'm all agog at the social media mindset in the marketing world. Did you know there are people offering certification in Social Media Marketing? This makes me laugh. A lot. Uproariously, in fact.
Marketing geeks in the business world are yammering back and forth. The tweets rip. The blogs are on fire. Analyzing the trends. The numbers. The percentages doing what and how. What utility? Say this! NO! Say that! Be Authentic. Be Transparent. Yada yada yada. It's amazing how complex people want to make things. The technology and getting used to the environment are the hard part. Twitter and Facebook had me scratching my head just trying to figure out what went where and how it did what it did so I could do what I do.
But once you realize where to type what, the rest of it is pretty simple. As I told someone who was chatting with me on Facebook, think of it like this: Twitter is a small title or headline and mostly about other people. Facebook is a medium size story about you AND other people. Your blog or Web site is the large version and it's about you. Small, Medium, and Large. Them, Us, and Me. Easy.
But then what (and how!) do you say what you need to say?
It kind of boils down to doing what your Mama told you: Be yourself. Be polite. Tell the truth but don't talk about the family. And keep your underwear clean, just in case.
It's really important to understand that the Traditional Marketing Methods are not what Social Media Marketing is all about. Being social, this is like hanging over the back fence and talking to your neighbor about the neighborhood. These days, however, the neighborhood is pretty big. Still, all you have to do is talk, listen, and share your story. Tell them about a good deal you found, offer a bit of news, or maybe find out how the people down the street are doing after their house fell on the Witch. We may not be in Kansas anymore, but we're still people.
You know how you give your neighbor a better deal on your product or service because, well, they're your neighbor or your fishin' bud? Social Media is the kind of same thing. Sounds scary until you realize you'll be getting a better deal because you're someone else's neighbor or fishin' bud.
Unfortunately, we're a culture used to experts. They offer us validation. As a culture, we're used to hiding behind corporate speak and putting forward a "professional" demeanor on our public face. Social media blurs the line between Business and Personal and I think that's what all the frantic talk is about. I think a lot of people are scared. We get scared of being real. We get scared of being laughed at. Rejected, or just plain ol' looking stupid. It does help to bounce the ideas off of someone before you act. But that's always been true. So, get your knickers out of a twist. Social Media is nothing to be scared about; it's just being a good neighbor.
When it comes to Social Media Marketing, however, you are the expert of you. This is why the idea of being certified in SMM is so funny. You might need lessons in grammar, or you might want to understand the best way to tell your story, but no one can certify you in the language of you and your business.
The nifty thing for boaters? The Marine Industry is an industry built on stories. It's an industry that is full of grandfathers and fishing, learning to water ski, exploring the coves, and so much more. So go ahead and tell your story. Ask for other stories and what makes it fun. Talk about the future with bright ideas of where and how to boat. But it's important, now more than ever, to get women involved. Women control the household budget in over 80% of American homes.
Social Media. It's an unprecedented opportunity unlike we've ever had before. From a larger or spiritual perspective, (insert choral burst) I think it's wonderful. Being a dangerous, freethinking renegade from the corporate world who asks far too many inappropriate questions, I'm having the time of my life.