I’m Salli Glover. I’m at the helm of a start-up and I know a thing or two about my industry – I can coach and motivate even the most powerful women to within an inch of their life.
But when it comes to the world of social media I have been left feeling inept, confused and thoroughly out of my depth. A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post called ‘Are you a digital Muppet?’ and I have a strong suspicion that I was probably her inspiration for the piece.
There is something to be said for being new (or late) to the party. You get a real journey. It’s a pretty crowded world out there and, taking your first steps to finding your voice and your audience, you head to google and type “how to…”
Which is exactly what I did, simultaneously kissing goodbye to a couple of weeks of my life. There’s always another e-book, a newsletter, a video series. You find endless number of self styled gurus. You begin to think it’s not possible to master it all (Twitter, Ecademy, Linkedin, Facebook – don’t even get me started on Pinterest!) It was rather like being a teenager on a first date again; fraught with anxiety, anticipation and well, frankly, just trying too darned hard.
The benefits of social media may be huge, but the pitfalls of getting it wrong are endless, so I decided to have a closer look at the good, the bad and the ugly of online marketing approaches. Or, sticking with my dating theme, what I call ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid’.
You know the type – looks flashy and impressive up-front, but the novelty wears off really fast. To be honest, I’d be quite flattered to be considered a snoggable blogger, especially having reached the age of chin-hair and wrinkles when my first thought on entering a trendy bar is ‘is this actual music? And does it have to be so loud?’ But flattery aside, I for one don’t want to be somebody’s one-hit-wonder or, worse still, tomorrow’s spam.
I recently developed an online girl crush on a brazen, trendy, funny American chick. She was bold, she was rebellious, she was shocking – ah swoon, how I adored her. I loved her so much I actually wanted to be her. I imagined that these were my blog posts entertaining my avid readers with risqué repartee and feisty, funny truths. Surely she was THE one?
Are you kidding? Two weeks later and we were ‘like, SO OVER’. In other words, she was spam. The rebellious, cool-kid swearing and straight for the jugular approach that I had once (well, very recently actually) adored about this tweeting icon was actually getting on my nerves. It’s a bit like those TV comedy series that only work when you watch them once a week – try watching the whole DVD set in one sitting and it rapidly loses its appeal.
So, her novelty had worn off, our romance waned and I never even bought any of her stuff. Room 101. You’re fired. Bye bye…
Ah, marriage. The holy grail of getting your social media courting rituals right. You talk my language; I want to be with you forever. Take me, I’m yours.
Online I am currently marrying Seth Godin. Yes I know, as obvious a choice as Brad Pitt is in the world of celebrity, but I always was predictable in the hero-selection department. I am compelled by his values and his talk of building tribes. I am filled with admiration for his no-stalking policies. He’s a little bit hard to get but not quite out of reach. And he’s funny. Genuinely funny. He recently released an education manifesto called “stop stealing dreams.” This guy is a marketing specialist but he communicates to the world what he cares passionately about rather than selling his products all the time. And people love it.
In real life when we consider finding The One we build up slowly; first a date to see if we get on, a further month to check that this one compares favourably with the others on the market and if so, a few months more to make sure that we are heading in the same direction and really have things in common. Then we live together and see how that pans out – and then finally if we haven’t killed each other, we may decide to get hitched.
Google recently conducted their Zero Moment of Truth research into the number of ‘touchpoints’ customers make prior to making an online purchasing decision. It’s research I highly recommend – check out this Youtube clip about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmM9qfzfzhw.
Very rapidly with the onset of multiple online platforms the number of touchpoints required by consumers has risen from 5 in 2009 to just over 10 in 2012. That’s a minimum TEN dates required if you want us to commit our time, energy or money to your brand or services – and they’d better be good dates, as there are plenty, PLENTY of other fish in the sea waiting to tempt us away.
I am actually getting hitched myself this year, and on reflection I saw another striking similarity between finding The One and the best of online media[T G2] . My man’s not some showy Prince Charming or superhero or Seth or Brad, but he is a great fit for me, with a shared vision and values, and well, he ‘gets me’. He remains a work in progress and is perfectly flawed but in all the ways that make me feel most at home in myself. He makes my world a better place, my life feel more straightforward, not more complicated and I know that I am deeply cared for by someone who has all my best interests at heart. He’s a keeper. I DO!
So finally we come to the Avoids; the nasty marketers that spam-stalk you relentlessly; the ones trying to shove their virtual tongue down your throat on your first date. These are the worst offenders and I don’t know about you but I’m getting it daily, from all directions, and I have no idea how they keep finding me.
‘Read my stinkingly AWESOME 3 step strategy on how to get rich yesterday…’
‘Sign me up NOW for 5 foolproof ways you can shove your product in my face’.
Urghh. Enough already! Unfollow. Unfriend. Unlike. Unsubscribe. Until never.
And then there are the ones who are just plain DULL. They have about as much chance of holding my attention while they bore me with their tired, stale copy as I do of pulling Brad. Guys, even when you stick a ‘how to’ or ‘7 steps’ on it it’s still The 7 Steps to Dronington. Please, just bore off.
Am I too choosy? Over-fussy? Is this why it took me until age 37 to find The One? Perhaps. And I may be a virgin blogger, but I do know this – there are a lot of players out there in blog-land vying for attention, and unless we present ourselves in just the right way, we won’t get a look in.
So, here are my tips for becoming The One in the world of online –
- Too showy, repetitive or novelty based and we’re off – thanks for the snog, it was nice while it lasted.
- If you want to stand out as The One, don’t be needy and clingy, be real, have flaws, get to know one another for a while, let them choose you. It’s all about how they feel about themselves after you’ve gone.
- Don’t chase, don’t push, don’t make any unexpected advances. And definitely don’t be dull.
To read more of Salli Glover’s blogging and social media adventures please visit www.wearescarlett.com and follow her on @wearescarlett