Teddy Burriss, LinkedIn Trainer & Coach
According to Wikipedia, “social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.” Yes, I agree, brands can use social media to promote their product or services. However, this is only a small portion of the value of social media.
My opinion is social media is more useful as personal branding tools, and I prove this every day.
At the end of the day I and many other business professionals, do business with the people they trust, respect and like. The brand reputation can play a role in this decision, but often not the primary role.
Based on Bryan Kramer’s 2017 book ‘There is no B2B or B2C, Human to Human H2H”, our culture is shifting and we need to shift the way we communicate and engage with our target audience, else our businesses will become extinct. This includes how we use social media.
Include these issues:
- Facebook business pages are getting minimal content views or engagement unless you are paying for Facebook Ads.
- LinkedIn is pushing company page lower in the priority algorithms for newsfeed presence, unless when you are paying for targeted ads.
- Social media newsfeed are being sorted by Top or Relevant algorithms rather than recent, causing our newsfeed to be influenced by other’s engagement.
- Social media newsfeed are getting cluttered with sponsored posts pushed at us every 7th post, nearly resembling the downtown highways filled with digital billboards pushing dynamic content at us every 6-7 seconds.
And it becomes clear we need to get purposeful at using social media in a more Human to Human manner in order to truly get real business value from these tools.
As a Social Media Strategist focused on the business use of LinkedIn I have developed a series of best practice philosophies focused on doing just this. I break these down into 4 primary philosophies, again around LinkedIn, but relevant to all social media platforms:
- Build Professional Profiles presenting who you are and what you do, focused on your Most Important Viewer (i.e. – Targeted Human)
- Build and continue to grow relevant and meaningful Networks filled with your Most Important Viewers and their influencers
- Develop a trusting and respected reputation based on the social media content you engage on and share with your networks.
- Lead with Give when you are prospecting, connecting and engaging. People want to do business with people who care enough to help others.
I also encourage marketing professionals to consider these philosophies as they create and share content. In an H2H culture, the brands who make the messaging and engagement all about their Most Important Viewer are the brands who will win and continue to win. However, in an H2H culture, the real business value develops when the people who make up the brand create a social media presence, build their relevant and meaningful networks and get into purposeful and mutually beneficial conversations with their Most Important Viewers.
When we all adopt these principles we will have better results using social media regardless of our business roles and goals.
As with our #2 pencils, email, text and phones, social media are networking and communications tools, designed for us as individuals to present ourselves, network and build relationships with our Most Important Viewers. I repeat, they are tools for the individuals, and oh yeah, marketing can join us if they want.
Social media is a personal thing for us humans to use. If you are not already using social media personally to build your presence, network and reputation you are going to be left behind in our H2H culture and your business is at a disadvantage.