If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C. It’s a simple conclusion and argument that looks rock solid. However, if it turns out that A does not in fact, equal B, then the argument is flawed by a false premise. The logic of an argument that uses a false premise can actually be perfectly sound. I suppose that’s why you see it used so much in social media marketing messages. The logic can be mapped this way:
A = a twitter profile mentions “marketing,” or other keyword you’ve chosen, in a tweet or in their bio.
B = the profile who mentioned your keyword must be interested in what you are interested in, and already believe you have credibility and deserve trust.
C = the profile who mentioned the keyword must be a “qualified ready to buy” prospect for your specific product or solution.
The actual automated direct message then reads as follows:
Hi [Name], I noticed your tweets on [keyword topic] and thought our solution would be of interest. Feel free to visit our website (URL here) to learn more about us. We’d love to do a quick demo for you.
However, if you’ve spent any time trying to generate qualified sales leads you know that it’s dangerous to bank on simple conclusions like the one above. So, how did this very old ploy gain a foothold in the new world of social media marketing? Probably because many organizations follow marketing concepts developed in the 1950s to ‘70s.
- Segment the audience: The individual social profiles mentioning the keywords can be easily identified and put into a broad group.
- Targeting: Blast a mass customized message to the identified group through automation technology.
- Positioning: Craft the message to appear personalized and sound sincere, positioning your solution as the answer to their situation.
Congratulations, you just sent the right message, to the right audience, at the right time! The orders should start rolling in! Except that’s not how it’s unfolding because A does not currently equal B. In addition, B does not currently equal C either. With some careful nurturing, “A” might equal “B” and become a prospect (equaling “C”) at some point in the future; but at present there is no recognized need or pain point your suspect is trying to resolve. In short, you are a “spray and pray” social media marketer. By the way, your target has now been put off by your blunt initial approach so you can forget about nurturing the relationship for future benefit.
Are you ready to get back to the future now? Then you must learn to listen more and speak less. Turn off the automation that implies the receiver is interested in you or your solution. Stop thinking of yourself as a salesperson and start thinking of your role in terms of a business consultant who can truly add value to your prospects day. Finally, stop thinking in terms of “qualifying and closing” the keyword user in one automated shot. People love to buy, but hate to be sold. OK, that is one timeless concept you should keep in mind.