Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Connect Now, Sell Later

Do you take recommendations for restaurants, or movies, or mechanics more seriously if they come from family or friends?  Most of us do.  Why?

When we know people, and they know us, they also have a sense of who we are and what we like.  If we know they have had good experiences with an auto mechanic, for example, it is easier to take those recommendations at face value.

I travel several times a year for business.  Before I head out, I send out a tweet to my Twitter followers asking for restaurant recommendations.  I get quite a few and I've never really gotten a bad one.  These are people with whom I've created a connection.  Maybe it's not as tight a connection as with close friends and family, but I have talked with them enough for them to have a sense of what I might like.  They may have traveled to those same cities or even live there.  They have experience.  Experience I can take advantage of.

These "connecting points" are vital for social media marketing.  Jumping into a social media site like Twitter and immediately trying to sell people on your goods or services can be obnoxious.  Talk with people, have conversations.  People who have an interest in the things you do (in this case, the goods and services you provide) will congregate around you as you share information and knowledge.  As these connecting points are created, when you do eventually mention your blog or website, they will be more willing to take a look at your recommendations.

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