Why Social Media Marketing is like Dating – Centerline Digital


The dating landscape can be rough. More often than not, you will come across dates that are not as great as the romantic comedies have made them out to be. Unfortunately, the social media marketing landscape is not much better. Competition is fierce and it can be hard to keep up at times. Just like in dating, it can go either way, you can be the date of a lifetime or be a complete flop. Think of this as a dating guide for social media marketing.

Bad social media marketing can easily be aligned with three types of dates I would never wish upon my worst enemy.

Don’t be:

The self-absorbed tool:
This is the date that takes over the date. They order for you and only talk about themselves the entire time. You know their entire life story but haven’t said a single word about yourself. You’re not sure if you should be trying to talk or just sitting quietly, hoping that the time will go by faster.

Social media is meant to be exactly what the title entails, social. It is supposed to be an interactive conversation, not just one party broadcasting and talking at the audience. There needs to be a good mix of content to ensure the channel is not overwhelmed with sales pitches. Be interesting and engaging – your audience needs a reason to continue to follow your accounts. Social channels need those continuous dates (return visits) and not just a first date disaster.

The awkward nerd:
This is the date that your parents made you go on. They sit across the table quietly and wonder what they should say. They get super technical and speak in a way that you don’t understand. Then there are the awkward silences. The long gaps between speaking points where neither of you know what to say.

Social media needs regular updating and consistent messaging. You need to speak in the voice of your audience and understand how to engage in conversations with them. There can’t be long gaps in between. Your channels need to be monitored and updated on a regular basis.

The needy creep:
This is the date that you regret. You only went out with them once but now they won’t stop trying to get in contact. You get weird phone calls and weird text messages about random topics that they hope will get your attention. These attempts at contact reek of desperation.

Social media requires involvement in relevant conversations. Constant badgering or spamming followers is not the way to do that. Be a part of the conversations that make sense to be involved in. If it is the right audience and you are speaking in the correct way, your targeted audience will listen.

Not all dates have to end this way.

Do be:

The gentleman:
This is the perfect date. They open the door for you, they’re attentive and speak just enough. Conversation just seems to flow. I’m smelling a second date? This is exactly what you want!

Just open the door of communication and make it interactive. Speak with your audience and not at them. What topics are they interested in? Get into those conversations.

Trendy and up to date on current events:
Social media marketing is a balance of pre-planning as well as real-time updates. Some of the best social media interactions come from things that happened on the fly. Everyone still remembers Oreo’s tweet during the blackout at the 2013 Superbowl. The timing on the tweet was perfect and it was relevant to a huge event that was in process.

Social media gives the opportunity to take advantage of these kinds of moments but it takes patience and careful monitoring of current events and trends. Posts about events have to be timely and relevant to break through the noise.

Social media is always updating and the feed is constantly changing so it’s vital to say something worthwhile and give your audience a reason to want to follow and tune in to your updates.

Someone who listens:
Learn from your audience by tuning in to their interactions. Find out what problems they have and what their needs are, then align your conversations to be the answers they are looking for.

A learning process
This isn’t to say that social media marketing leaves no room for mistakes. It actually provides a great opportunity to test different kinds of messaging and find out what resonates the most with your audience. Just like any good relationship, it takes effort and time.

It’s easy to be the bad or average date. Many companies choose to take the easy route and not put the necessary effort into social media. Social media can be the platforms that make the difference. This is where you can connect with your audience on an individual level and be the date they want to continue going out with. Be the date everyone wants to be or be with.

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