Raise your hand: How many of you are
stuck in the PUSHING TOO MUCH INFORMATION trap of social media? Right, just as
I expected...too many.
Pushing information on social media
is like using a garden rake to comb your hair. It's the wrong tool for the job.
Just today, while explaining the
finer details of a successful Twitter presence to a #lawyer, I emphasized the
old don't-toot-your-own-horn let others toot it for you approach to social
media. To be interesting, be interested-and not just about what you think. It
is most important to stimulate the conversation and draw attention to the ideas
of others, inserting your expertise and opinion where it adds value, or
entertainment in some cases.
Still, we forget: As witnessed by
the incessant stream of look at me Tweets (including those with links to
perhaps interesting articles, but no commentary) showing up in my Twitter
stream because I follow a lot of law firms and lawyers. That is PUSHING.
Cringe. It is pushing your own boat against stream instead of letting
the stream lead.
I've said it before, here and here, social
media is supposed to be social. When you are in a social situation, to
establish new relationships you must be aware of those around you at that very
moment. You will do best to draw them into a conversation-and yes, that usually
means you have to place a higher degree of focus on who you're speaking to and
what matters to them rather than shining a light on yourself. Let others raise your
profile. It will deliver greater benefits and it's really not that hard.
While there's nothing wrong
with pushing information-there's always luck and timing-expecting meaningful
results for the precious investment of resources diminishes greatly when you do
not understand and act upon the classic tenants of social behavior and what
motivates people to engage.
Later today I read a timely blog
post by David Aaker on Harvard Business Review's The
of Social Media Revealed 50 Years Ago." I'm sharing this link with you
because I hope that you'll be enlightened and inspired, like I was, by Aaker's
observations on how the findings of Ernest Dichter, who 50 years ago
outlined the key elements of word of mouth persuasion. These elements apply so
aptly to social media today.
"...[in] the absence of exceptionally
entertaining communication, in order to employ social media effectively a brand
needs to deliver extraordinary functional, self-expressive, or social
Okay...stop here. How many law firms
deliver extraordinarily functional or self expressive benefits. Not many. We're
all sort of "just a law firm on the Internet."
With a few exceptions: IMHO. That leaves us with delivering social benefits,
"Listeners...[want] the speaker to be
interested in the listener and his or her well-being without a bias. Is the
speaker's intention to sell a product or help me? What is the speaker's
relationship to me?
...[A] firm should promote a dialogue
because a listener will be more likely to accept judgments from someone with
whom there is an interaction going on. With a dialogue, it is much easier to
communicate expertise, interest in the subject matter, and the right motivation
because there is a chance to build up a relationship and use reassuring cues.
In contrast, a one time, one-way communication will have a harder time
demonstrating credibility and motivation.
Aaker concludes that:
"It is amazing that the nearly
forgotten theory and practice of word-of-mouth communication and influence from
five decades and more ago can be so relevant today."
I encourage all marketing
professionals involved in their entity's social media outreach, as well as
individual attorneys, to read the full article and
take the points made to heart and action.
David Aaker is the Vice-Chairman of Prophet
and the author of Brand Relevance: Making Competitors
Irrelevant and the davidaaker.com blog on branding.
There is some terrific stuff here...check it out!
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