“Don’t worry, you don’t even have to look at any of this stuff… I’ll look after it for you” promised the new assistant I hired after stumbling across her blog post on the difficulties of finding good assistants. Her post caused me to rethink my skepticism about business-to-business (B2B) social media, because it quickly grabbed my attention and converted me into a client.
Her words were music to my ears, yet also troubled me. I rarely read blogs or the Twitter feeds a former assistant subscribed me to. I’m of the generation that’s never on Facebook because I have a thriving business to run, and clients to serve who want to build deeper relationships through authentic face-to-face interactions.
The premise of social media is that it’s SOCIAL, and I’m not the only one outsourcing it in the interests of time. So if tweets, blogs, Facebook, and Linked in posts produced by my assistant are only ever being monitored by their assistant, who do we think we’re fooling with this pseudo-relationship silliness, and how does that ever help social media become part of our toolkit for building relationships? Relationships are not based on clicks and likes. They’re based on real people finding common ground and having ongoing meaningful exchanges that add value to both parties.
Most social media is just silly noise. Yet, as I’ve rethought this I believe good content, well targeted, may prove to be highly effective advertising which can build awareness… awareness can build trust… trust can build a desire to connect and explore more deeply, as it did with me when I read my assistant’s blog post. Never assume that the person you’re tweeting or posting to is actually reading your stuff. Your “advertising” must go beyond irrelevancy to grab their assistant’s attention, who may plant seeds for direct communication.
My plan for best practices that get past the silliness of assistants talking to assistants is to make sure that everything my assistant sends out on my behalf will add value to whoever reads it, in one of 5 ways:
- It will save them time
- It will show them how to save or make money
- It will help them solve the problems they’re grappling with (that’s why the blog post my assistant wrote caught my attention)
- It will provide some sort of feel good or entertainment value
- It will give them confidence or peace of mind.
How did I do in this article? Perhaps I saved you time by giving you a new perspective, helped solve questions you have about whether to engage in social media or not, or gave you a sense of confidence that you’re already on the right track.
I’m still in the experimental stage of social media, because like many people I believe I “have to at least try it”. My assistant is fulfilling her promise beyond my expectations. These days my tweets are being retweeted and favorite by complete strangers whom I have no relationship with, which somehow feels very inauthentic. So my jury is still out in terms of whether social media will ever really help build great relationships.
In the meantime… have your people tweet my people with your comments or perspectives.