Social media started out as a sharing network among friends and family and turned into follower hunting and advertising. But that’s not what it’s about.
The power lies in ‘social’
When you have a problem you ask your friends. When they have a problem you help solve it. When you are happy you help your family. When you are sad they pick you up. That’s what it means to be social. And that is what social media is about: the social aspect of social media.
As a business if you want to play an important social role you need to actually behave socially. That means having empathy for people and your clients first — helping when you can, not harvesting where you can. That’s a massive difference from what we see happening in social marketing these days.
Social media are not advertising through people’s networks. They may seem to be but may instead be creating a kind of advertising blindness which isn’t helping your message get across. Getting to know your client base, connecting with them as people and genuinely helping your community of users when and where you can is, even if you don’t say it, what will ultimately get your message across.
So… live up to what you would like to be!