Social Concepts

Relationships Vs. Sales

Posted on: April 12, 2011

I had an interesting read last night, an article called the “19 ‘New’ Rules of Social Media Copywrting.” It was intriguing, to say the least.

Now, I’m not going to list all 19 of the rules they mentioned, but I wanted to highlight two points — one that I fully agree with, and the other that I’m kind of on the fence about. (Ok, no. I completely disagree.)

Rule #10: Create Discussion Topics

It’s echoed throughout most of my posts on this site: Engaging with your audience and listening to them is premiere on social media. Without it, your presence is obsolete.

So of course I think it’s important to create discussion topics with your audience in order to promote your brand. People LOVE conversation. They breathe off of debates. I follow AOL BlackVoices on Twitter, and one thing I can always say about them is that, though their articles are sometimes subpar, they fully engage with their followers and consistently pose questions pertaining directly to their stories to generate discussion. It works well for them.

Any journalist knows that the best part of writing a new story is the comment sections. When you see dozens of folks partaking in conversation about your subject, rather criticizing your work, it feels like heaven.

So yes, I completely agree that with any social media marketing tactic, engagement is KEY. Having a well-thought out discussion is what’s going to make your organization much more recognizable.

Rule #12: Use the 4 U’s

Create Urgency, Usefulness, Uniqueness and Ultra-Specificity to stimulate interest,” is how this rule is described. Ok…I agree. But the description went downhill, telling folks to create a teaser and use phrases such as “Limited time…”, “Right now…”, “Last Chance…” etc. But when you use these phrases, your marketing comes off as a straight sales tactic. It sounds like that’s all the focus of the campaign is: We want to give you this at a discount, or for free because we need  you to buy! rather than We value your opinions and your intellectualism, so lets build a relationship by engaging in a deep discussion. (Ok, I did the most right there, I know.)

Essentially, what I’m saying is that while there should be a balance in your social media campaign, the language you use should rarely scream BUY! And while I agree with the new rules of social media copywriting, I just can’t bring myself to accept Rule #12. What do you all think?


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