When it comes to the way most people approach social media marketing for the first time, I am reminded of a quote by Henry Ford. Ford said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have told me ‘Faster Horses’.”
When I see a steady Twitter stream of news releases, I think “How is this any different than the ‘Recent News’ section on your web page? ” When I see an endless list of “this week’s car deals,” I wonder, “How is this any different than the classified section of the newspaper?” If social media is so hot and new and so revolutionary…why do you think you can derive any benefit by using it like an old marketing tool?
Social media is about attracting customers by being interesting. Talk about how you are being “green.” Tell me about the great charities you support and how you arrange volunteer days so your employees contribute a day of work to Habitat for Humanity or the local food bank. Tell me a funny story about your product or service. Give me information on how to get the most from your product or service. Give me something interesting to keep me coming back for more.
As job seekers, we go one step worse. We are not just boring. We are counterproductive. Most of us would never subject ourselves to the humiliation of standing on a busy street corner with a handful of resumes, wearing a sandwich board stating, “Hire me! Chemical engineer. 15 years experience. Can start work tomorrow!”
However, we use social media to do the same thing. What is the benefit of updating your LinkedIn network with “Seasoned chemical engineer looking for a challenging position in the Dallas semiconductor industry” every day …day after day…? This is particularly bad if your LinkedIn photo looks a little bit depressed. You are just reinforcing an image of yourself as a hapless job seeker unable to gain any traction week after week.
To quote the documentary Lemonade (available on Hulu), when you lose your job, “Don’t be the person out there looking for a job. Be the person doing something interesting.”
What are you doing that someone might want to know about? What are you learning that a target company might find valuable? What volunteer service are you providing that shows you are an asset to the community? What fun thing have you done that shows you are someone a prospective boss might like to have coffee with on Monday morning? Have you done anything that made your friends and family say, “Wow! I never knew you had that talent…or courage…or strength?” Tweet about those things. Update your LinkedIn network with those things. Put that on your Facebook wall.
Tell me something interesting and I will want to know more.
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing