Programming Blog

Jeremy Morgan

Mostly Coherent Ramblings of a Silicon Forest Software Developer

Making Social Media Work for You.

Author: Jeremy Morgan

People email me frequently and ask the same question over and over again. How can I make social media work for my business? It’s a great question without a really solid answer. I can’t give you the exact formula for success, but I can tell you how to fail with Social Media. The formula for that is simple.

How to fail at Social Media Promotion

The best way to fail is to treat it as an afterthought, and blindly sign up for different sites and start spamming your product expecting to double sales overnight. If you treat as just another advertising opportunity, it’s likely you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. Social Media is not just another avenue for advertising, because the audience is already accustomed to ignoring all forms of it. They might follow you or your company out of curiosity, but after a few links they’re either ignoring you or “unfollowing” you altogether.

If you’re selling sprinkler heads online, you may have a small niche market that loves your product. Sprinkler heads are certainly interesting to the right people. But are those people going on to Facebook, Twitter or Digg to find entertaining articles about sprinkler heads? Not likely. They’re looking to be entertained. They want to meet new people, interact with them and share funny or entertaining things, and the occasional useful item. They’re more interested in watching a baby eat a watermelon than your great prices on a new line of sprinkler heads.

How do you stand out?

Here is an example of doing it right.

The folks at Blendtec had an awesome idea to help sell blenders. They invented a persona and created these skits where they started destroying perfectly good pop culture items in their blenders. This was brilliant. Not only is it funny and entertaining, but an excellent demonstration of their products. While you’re watching these valuable items get destroyed you’re being introduced to the Blendtec name. This goes to show that you can sell anything online with the right idea.

Blenders are surely mass market items, but had they simply created accounts and started posting links to their product pages they would have had a hard time getting anyones attention let alone sell anything. Instead they are entertaining, people are passing their links around and their blenders are flying off the shelves.

The Bottom Line

You have to stand out, get attention and do something nobody else has done before. It’s tough, and it takes time to come up with the right idea, but once you do it really pays off. Just ask those guys who are using social media to sell blenders.