Josh Burns coined the title phrase, and I have been using it ever since with one tiny addition. Social media is a relational platform – not an advertising platform.
Many times when we first start working with a client they will naturally look at social media as an advertising platform. Their focus is primarily on driving clicks, views, eyeballs – however you want to say it. They ask us time and again: “How do we drive clicks to our product/site/store?”
That type of thinking comes out when you hear things like “How many likes did we get this month? How many followers did we add? What is our click-through rate of our Facebook ad?”
The Primary Function of Social
Now, let me clarify: the above are not bad questions to ask. In some ways, social is another marketing tool.
However – that is it’s secondary function. The primary function of social is to establish, build, and nurture relationships. That’s it.
Social works in the same way that we meet someone at a party and nurture that relationship towards friendship. When we’re at a party we’re not thinking (at least non-skuzzy people aren’t thinking) “How do I get something out of this person?” We’re thinking something along the lines of “This person seems interesting and I’d like to get to know them better.”
To put that paradigm on social: it’s like having that dinner party conversation infinitely with the people in our social communities. It’s not about baiting them to buy. It’s about building a relationship. You and I both know when we’re being sold to. People in your social media communities know when you’re selling.
If you want to drive business with social you have to put in relational effort first. Think of it this way: I don’t mind if – in fact I cherish it – when a friend comes to me and says “this is what I do professionally, I think I can help you, here’s what it would look like.” But for that to be something I value and will be open to, months and years of personal relationship have been established. Social media contacts function the same way.
Seth Godin calls it “permission based marketing.” Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” We call it the KLTB spectrum: Know, Like, Trust, Build.
Basically, we wanted to have a relational metrics for a relational platform. When we work with clients we use KLTB.
This spectrum was born of these four questions:
- How do we get people to know who you are?
- To like who you are?
- To trust who you are?
- How do we get people to build alongside you?
Under each one of these queries go specific metrics but it is crucial to keep in mind that the point isn’t the metrics. The point is the relationship. The metrics help support the ultimate goal which is establishing, building, and nurturing relationship.
The Efficacy of Social
Is social media effective at *insert your ultimate objective here* (sales, donations, more members, attendance, book sales, etc.)? Absolutely 100% freaking yes! But you have to remember that it looks different than a broadcast platform like radio, tv, print, and billboards.
The key is knowing the difference between the two.
Social media is there for you to find like-minded individuals and to connect with them. It’s there for interaction. It’s there for relationship building. Let that truth sink in as you schedule your social content this week!