Marketing a product? Offering a service? Creating something original?

In each case, you need people to do two things for you:

  1. Notice what you’re doing, and
  2. Talk about it with others.

If no one’s talking about you, you’ll have to spend a lot more time, money, and effort advertising your efforts. And shouldn’t those resources be spent making your actual product, service, or art better?

If your goal is to get people talking, there are lots of ways to do that.

But online, you have to make a distinction:

Do you want PEOPLE to talk about you, or do you want SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE to talk about you?

People Are People… Give or Take

PEOPLE like to talk about THINGS.
SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE like to talk about THEMSELVES.

PEOPLE like to talk to OTHER PEOPLE.
SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE like to talk to OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE.

SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE can generate a lot of online buzz.
PEOPLE can generate a lot of sales.

SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE like to get OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE interested in something, so they can feel like influencers.
PEOPLE like to be around other people who think like they do.

There are more PEOPLE in the world than there are SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE, but it’s the SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE whose buzz trickles down to PEOPLE and influences what they find interesting enough to buy / use / love.

Shout Loud So the Narcissists Can Hear You

SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE spend the bulk of their time ensuring that other people are paying attention to them.

To get SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE to notice you (or your company), you need to get their attention and hold it long enough so that they find something interesting about you — which, when they relate it to others, will make them seem interesting to other people. (And which will make you seem interesting by extension.)

Thus, when you’re promoting yourself or your work to SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE, you’re really providing them with a means to further promote themselves. Insidious, isn’t it?

Therefore, before you approach SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE with evidence of your own relevance, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you more interesting than your audience thinks they themselves are?
  • Will talking about you to their audience make your audience seem more interesting to the people who listen to them?
  • Does your story come with hooks?
  • Does your story solve people’s problems in such a way that, by bringing your existence to the attention of others, the re-teller of your story will be appreciated as a problem solver?
  • Are you memorable, or merely distracting?

SOCIAL MEDIA PEOPLE love conversation ammunition. Don’t hand them blanks, or they’ll look right past you.

Photo by mukluk on Flickr.


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