IT IS SAID that when someone gives you something of perceived value, you immediately respond with the desire to give something back. When Alexandra (my wife) is cleaning the house, I feel an immediate, guilt-driven desire to get in there and start scrubbing the floors. Guilt is a powerful, intrinsic driver of human behavior!
Today, one of our clients asked a poignant and incisive question: “I noticed you are Tweeting some content that has nothing to do with our website or our sales. How does that drive our bottom line?”
It is a perfectly good question. This client invests a substantial sum with Resonate each month; what is the ROI of Tweeting valuable content that does not drive sales?
Answer: The Law of Reciprocity.
Gary Vaynerchuck said it, and I wholeheartedly agree: We are in the midst of a “thank you economy.” When you inspire, entertain or inform people – in the genuine effort to help them lead better lives – they will eventually be motivated to return the favor. It may take a minute, a month or six months, but most people will reciprocate.
What most brands don’t understand is this: why would a person follow your organization on Twitter? To be marketed to? To be sold? Absolutely not. They get enough of that in their lives.
The brands that serve up a steady stream of relevant, compelling, fresh content inspire people to follow them. The smart brands nurture the relationship. They give and give and give. They might throw the periodic promotion in there, but if they are focused on giving, their followers won’t mind the errant promotion.
Let’s say you have a travel company. If you Tweet content about “how to pack” or “how to stay safe overseas” – with no reference to sales – you are earning people’s trust. You are winning their hearts. You are inspiring them to retweet you. And, you are engaging the law of reciprocity.
At Resonate, we take a longer-term view of social media. We don’t believe social media is a media – or a marketing channel. We believe it’s a human relationship. Try to monetize people too soon, and you push them away.
Think about it this way: let’s say we’re friends. And all I do is give to the relationship: I listen to you. I give you book recommendations. I prepare freshly-baked goods and lovingly deliver them to your doorstep. Eventually, you are going to reach a tipping point and exclaim, while eating my tangy lemon squares: “Enough already, Harr! What can I do for you?”
The corollary in social media is that if you constantly Tweet out and post good, solid content that people can use to improve their lives, they are going to find their way to giving their business to you, rather than to your competition who doesn’t listen to them – and doesn’t care.
Your social media strategy should be to give and give and give. Provide stellar content. Care about people. Listen to them. Connect. Engage.
Do these things, and what goes around comes around: the business will come to you in droves.
Eric Harr is the Founder & CEO of Resonate Social Media. He likes to give.
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About Resonate Digital
Resonate Digital is a results-driven, integrated digital marketing agency. While social media is our core competency, we integrate it into a broader marketing strategy that includes effective storytelling, brand development, website optimization, SEO, PPC, email marketing, brand monitoring, influencer engagement and traditional media. Read More»