Be real or no deal

Organizations often struggle with social media. Old school marketing methods just don’t seem to do the job anymore. This is completely understandable if you understand the basics of social media. They are easy to understand, but in most cases hard to bring in practice. In this blog I will give you my input on social media, because that’s what we have to work with these days.

If you want to promote an entity (company, department, product, brand or yourself) on social media, the first thing you need to realize is that you need to be prepared that you are dealing with a two way communication channel. People that read your message can and will respond to it. If they enjoy it, they will let you know by pushing the like button (on FB), give you a plus on Google+ or other ways. If they believe it is really special they will share it! Since I think this is the most important thing of social media, I will repeat it once again:

“if a message is really special people will share it!”

Probably after reading this, some of you might want to ask me why I am telling you something you already know. My response would be that this is completely true, it is nothing new. But for some reason people just don’t get it. Seems to me that this can’t be told often enough. I see so many messages, with the intention to promote something, but not being shared by anyone. Even worse, a lot of them don’t even get likes, plusses or comments. Meaning that they are not good, let alone special, but also not bad either. This makes those messages meaningless. Bad messages at least get comments. If people want to communicate amongst each other it doesn’t matter what the message is about, if it’s good or bad. But honestly, big companies that want to promote their product got to get their act together. One tip:

“the real thing scores!”

Interesting, isn’t it. This means: being authentic pays off. Put it like this seems really easy to achieve. Well, if it was that easy every company would be successful in promoting themselves via social media. The first step of the +4 method for custom gamification gives us the information we need to find out what an entity is really about. This is something every company should do before promoting themselves via social media. Check your identity, get to the essence, find out if it matches the expectations of your clients. If not, adjust, so your story will be authentic. That’s the most important step. An authentic story appeals to people, but tell it in an entertaining, enjoyable, breathtaking or funny way. Whatever works to turn it into a special message. Everything is allowed as long as the message is real. Use video, pictures or sound (depending on the nature of the entity) if it helps.. The difference between the impact of a special message and a good message is huge!! My message to you would be:

“Be real and become successful on social media.”

Last but not least. Be prepared for comments and know how to respond. Being authentic has the huge advantage that you can respond better and faster to comments. You don’t have a made up image to maintain, nor do you need to think long for a response.

If people complain via a comment and it is valid. Admit it, thank them for their contribution, apologize and present your solution. You really should be thankful to them if you see the result afterwards. Never hide from your mistakes. Its only human to have them. People often don’t care much about the mistake itself, but how it is handled.

Very important for binding clients and gaining new ones.

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