One of the common reasons that I often hear from people unsure about entering the social media world is that people are afraid to waste time on banal chatter. “I don’t care what people are having for dinner or what they’re doing right now!” However this attitude can be counter-productive to a relationship-building strategy that results in additional prospects and revenue for your business.
Step back for a moment and envision a party, attended by people from your targeted niche market. If you’re a direct seller, you most likely will see a lot of moms, as well as other people. Have you spent any time with moms in the real world lately? Do you know what they talk about, and how they build relationships with each other? They talk about what their kids are doing. They talk about recipes their kids will eat. They talk about how hard it is to get everything done in a day and still make time for themselves. They talk about how they feel like they’re losing their identity in their mom persona.
Now imagine yourself attending that party as well. How will you engage the others there? Will you start talking about your business and your products? Not if you want to engage anyone. Instead, you’ll be sympathetic. You’ll share solutions that worked for you, and recipes your kids like. You might share stories of times you had a similar experience. And when they start talking about the identity thing, you might talk about how your business is helping you with that very same issue.
Do you see how the “banal chatter” has provided you with an opening? Social media networking is exactly the same.
We must connect with the people we meet at a personal level first, as real human beings, before we try to do business. We must offer compassion, real solutions (that have nothing to do with our product), and similar experiences that help people know, like, and trust us first. Only then are people willing to hear what we have to say about our businesses. And if we use a strategy that drives traffic from social networking sites to our blog, and then to our newsletter and groups, we are assured that only the people that are interested receive our sales messages. And these prospects are a lot more likely to purchase from us.
So the next time you’re tempted to write off social networking as banal chatter, think again. These conversations are the openings that enable us to build relationships, and gain prospects that ultimately result in new business.
What do you think? Do you agree? Would love to read your experiences in the comments below!