Lots of buzz about new, emerging social networks this past week. Still lots of people yammering about Facebook and Twitter, too. Some of it is great. A lot of it is just bogus crap, of course.
LinkedIn is getting new buzz as well, which is well-deserved. I love LinkedIn and saw more than a thousand inquiries come in from LinkedIn alone last year. I’d give it a second look if I were you :-)
It seems many of us are busy working to find the “trick” to social networking. We want to know:
- How to increase conversions
- How to obtain a higher ROI
- How to get more leads
- How to get better results faster
There’s a lot of talk about the value of conversations. This is how we’re supposed to offer maximum value and engage our prospects on a human level instead of being all high pressure and salesy. This is smart.
Bottom line, conversations work. It’s true. Of all the buzz words in social media, the word “conversation” rides on top of them all. And it’s no surprise why. If you want to earn more business, establish an authentic conversation with your prospects. It just works. It always has.
So I have 4 quick, obviously loaded questions:
- If conversations are so powerful, why do we ignore the most conversation-focused social networking platform of all?
- If we want to increase conversions, why do we fail to use the highest converting social networking platform of all?
- If we want more leads, why do we completely sidestep the social networking platform that has produced more referral and repeat business for me and thousands of other marketers than any other platform?
- If we want better results faster, why do we remain blind to the tool which provides us the most direct and personally engaging path to our prospects and partners?
To what social networking platform am I referring? It’s flat out, hands down the most powerful social networking platform out there…and most of you aren’t using it. It’s called the phone.
Let it sink in for a minute. I’ll wait.
Real Conversation Crushes “Networking”…Every Time
Not a social network you say? Since when? The phone is the original social network! The phone system is the very definition of a network, and it remains the most engaging and personal way to communicate with people. Seriously, do you really want to engage and converse with your people? If so, can you find a more powerful way to converse with someone than by actually having a conversation with them?
Too often, “networking” is just an excuse to not truly engage people. It’s a way to keep things tentative, and it’s a way to keep people at arm’s length. Instead of using Twitter to grow our business, we hide behind it. We don’t do this on purpose, but we do it.
Regarding the phone, I’m not talking about cold calling. I’m not talking about trying to “close deals” on the phone. From where I sit, I think we’ve come to see the phone as an artifact that no longer works. And when marketers do use it, it’s used for cold calling or other nonsense. I’m here to testify that this just isn’t the case, and this kind of mentality is a mistake.
It’s True…Communication Has Changed. But…
It’s true that communication has changed, but that doesn’t mean people have changed. It just means the way we interact has a deeper and more layered dynamic. So, let’s go deeper. Let’s get more layered in how we approach marketing.
Incorporate the phone into your marketing strategy. I dare you. It will change your life. And all those bullet-pointed advantages I listed above? You’ll get those too.
It’s true that if you run a larger platform with many thousands of customers, it’s going to be tough to reach everyone. You don’t need to do that. Having a real conversation with a few people per day is a practice that creates real relationships. This isn’t to the exclusion of web-based social media. Far from it. They work together…with synergy.
From my perspective, this is the foundation of any worthwhile business, and it’s become highly neglected in marketing lately. This “have a real conversation” voodoo I’m speaking of is also a key element of what I call “platform-bouncing” and “the E300 principle”, which are powerful marketing strategies I’ll be sharing with you soon.