Telling Stories around the Digital Campfire
I heard a friend of mine talking about a campfire analogy the other day. He used it in relation to social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). It’s about the best definition of social marketing I’ve heard yet. When a brand uses social media to connect with its audiences (customers, prospects, etc.), it’s the digital version of sitting around a fire—swapping stories, watching how people react, listening to others chime in, the story’s thread being shaped and twisted by every participant, not just the story-teller.
This definition makes the social media space seem a whole lot less intimidating to marketing executives. Yet, they are still uncertain about how to use social media as marketing tool. Is it about branding or customer relationship management? Is it both… or neither?
As with the campfire analogy, the most valuable lessons in social marketing are the simplest. Too many marketers come to us setting out to create content with the goal of having people share it. They’ve got it backwards. People use social media primarily to make more meaningful connections with their friends and clients. The goal should be to create content that helps them do that.
The other common mistake is the desire to get to a targeted number of “fans,” “friends,” or followers without having planned the value or relevance of your messages. While not perfect, a good question to ask yourself is “What is my programming strategy?”
But even this viewpoint assumes people go to social platforms to consume, when, in fact, they primarily go to contribute and connect. That is a different mindset and we have to shift our thinking to be effective in this arena.
The bottom line is that while we may treat the social media space as a new world, it is in fact, just a technology-enabled version of the more familiar campfire.
What do you think? Do you have other suggestions on how to look at Social Meida to make it less intimidating for marketers? Reply below and let us know!
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