How To Avoid The Silly Mistake All Social Media Marketers Make

social-media-marketer-yelling-at-screenImagine you just discovered something that will change the world – say, the cure for cancer…

The first thing you’d want to do is tell the entire world as quickly as possible, right?

Of course you would. This breakthrough can help millions!

Well then… what’s your first move?

Do you run out the door and start telling every random person you meet in the street?

If you think about it, that’s basically the approach just about every marketer takes when he or she first puts together a social media strategy.

And it’s totally wrong.

If you don’t believe me, just do the math. If you wanted to tell the whole world about the cure for cancer, how long would it take to tell each and every person individually?

I’m not sure, but I’m positive it would take a really, REALLY long time…

That’s why you have to find a way to magnify your message.

But in today’s social world you can’t just grab a megaphone and shout from the rooftops either.

Nobody Cares About What You Have to Say

In 2014, community is king. People are so overwhelmed by marketing information that they now vet everything through their social networks. Accordingly, success in marketing now means becoming an organic part of an individual’s social ecosystem.

But where to start?

Don’t Read This if You Already Have More Traffic Than You Can Handle

This isn’t going to be news for anyone who is already doing well. But if you are frustrated with the level of traffic you currently have, definitely read on…

When you first start a social media marketing campaign, you need to focus the majority of your time trying to connect (in this order) with the following people:

1)      Influencers

One of the primary ways people vet information through their social network is by seeking out the opinion of ordained authorities. An influencer could be a celebrity, an industry expert, a popular blogger, or anyone else who has built up enough trust within the customer community to have their opinion considered golden.

This trust, of course, doesn’t come easy, so don’t expect that you’re going to just tell an influencer about what you’re doing and have them suddenly sing your praises.

In order to get into their good graces, you’ve got to do some trust building of your own.

Here are a few tips for connecting with social media influencers:

  • Talk to them – People won’t know who you are unless you approach them. The first step is to say hi. Tell them how much you appreciate their work and something particular that you learned from them. 
  • Curate their content – Influencers pay attention to who shares their content and doing so will help put you in their good graces. 
  • Provide something useful to their audience – Once you’ve established a good relationship with an influencer, ask them if they’d be interested in you providing some kind of content (such as a guest blog post) that their audience would find useful. They will provide a link back to your site, exposing it to many more people than you could ever reach on your own.

One thing to keep in mind is that influencers are constantly dealing with people asking them for stuff. This makes them highly skeptical of people, especially those they don’t know.

Make sure you take it slow.

A good rule to follow is always give more than you take, and even then you shouldn’t be presumptuous about your relationship with influencers. They worked hard to get to where they are. Make sure you respect and honor that.

2)      Evangelists

If you follow the instructions for connecting with influencer, you will eventually start to have a few folks who are crazy about what you do.

These are your evangelists.

When someone comes asking them who the best person is for the service you provide, they are going to recommend you.

But even better, they can tell your story by telling theirs…. As long you give them the opportunity.

Here are few examples of how to empower your evangelists:

  • Develop co-created content with them – Ask top customers to write a guest blog post, participate in a webinar with you, or team up to produce a series of informative videos. 
  • Ask evangelists for input – When developing new projects or analyzing new problems to solve for customers, take the chance to get the opinion of top customers. 
  • Create financial incentives – A little cash incentive can help keep your products and services on the front of their mind. Develop an affiliate program or other commission based system. But make sure everything is as transparent as possible. Don’t ever do anything that might damage the trust you have with your wider audience.

Don’t Make Me Slap You in the Face     

Every marketer I coach always ends up slowly going back to trying to connect with every person individually.

Not surprisingly, their subscriber growth goes down, and I end up having to remind them what got them their original success.

So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve been making this mistake.

Everyone does.

But, now is your chance to turn things around.

People DO Care About What You Can Do For Them

Always remember that, although your business might exactly be coming up with the cure for cancer, you are solving important problems for your customers – and to them it can be just as important.

You just have to find a way to cut through the noise and let them know about it.

With the strategy I’ve laid out here, you can finally get heard, and maybe even one day become an influencer yourself – just don’t forget about us little guys when you do.

Article Name
Talk to the Right People: How To Avoid The Painful Mistake All Beginning Social Media Marketers Make
All social media marketers have made the mistake of trying to talk to everyone all at once. Here's a much better strategy for getting you heard...

6 Responses to “How To Avoid The Silly Mistake All Social Media Marketers Make”

  1. Ash says:

    Hi Jake. Great post. Thanks for the useful tips. Connecting with influencers is critical I have found. I tend to do it via twitter. Another great way to get really involved in the community is by keeping the conversation going. So if someone sends you a message on twitter … It’s always nice to respond with an open ended question … Or something that will elicit a response from the other person. A few exchanges like this can be great to build a relationship that lasts.

  2. Steve Faber says:


    Nice post. It only makes sense, yet it seems foreign to many starting in social media, blogging, and business in general. In many cases, they’re intimidated. This era of modern communications has made reaching out to influencers so much easier than in years past.

    20 years ago, the idea of connecting with a major figure in your industry was an aspirational dream, rarely brought to life. No longer. Now you have a very real chance to form relationships with thought leaders and industry stalwarts. It’s an opportunity that was once a fantasy. Don’t keep it one.

    • Jake says:

      So, well put Steve. It’s funny because social media is really just now beginning to be social. Hopefully we’ll continue down that path.

  3. I too appreciate this article. Well done Jake. Having been in sales for the past twenty five years I confess it took this article to make me realize something about social media that I’d long since learned from old fashioned cold calling – don’t try to sell the receptionist – make a good first impression but save the presentation for the decision maker.


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