One of the things that has always bothered me about how we (consultants and agencies that sell social media marketing services) talk to companies about social media is that the conversation almost always starts with telling the company what they are doing wrong.
They aren’t being ‘human’ enough. They are being too self-promotional. They don’t ‘get’ social media and they don’t do a good job of connecting with their customers. The message we seem to be sending companies is ‘We aren’t going to get anywhere until YOU fall on the sword and admit that your approach to social media is dead wrong. Then and only then, can you learn how to do it the RIGHT way.’
Yes that’s being a bit overdramatic, but I think we need to consider how our message is resonating with the companies we are trying to reach. If you take a CEO that’s already highly skeptical of the value of social media, then tell him that everything he thinks he knows about social media marketing is dead wrong, then it’s not too hard to imagine them shutting down and not listening to what you have to say.
People don’t like hearing that they are wrong, and they don’t like being talked down to. We as consultants need to remember this and respect the skill it takes to build a business and remember that social media is just one tool in a toolbox, and not the Holy Grail.
It’s not always about the message you are sending but the way you deliver that message. It helps to remember the other person’s point of view and business reality.