You gotta have it!
Everything I learned about soccer was from my kids playing it when they were little. The main thing I learned from those few brief years that we followed soccer was that soccer fans have PASSION. With the FIFA World Cup starting we’re all in for some wonderful insight to the passion of soccer.
Earlier this week I met with 2 businesses – one I had met with several months ago and spent a few hours discussing social media and helping them set up their Facebook and Twitter pages. The second business came to me for the first time to start the social media discussion.
Here’s how the 2 meetings went down:
The business I had met with before came back to me for a refresher as they had not done anything with their social media presence. They said they had been “too busy” and they were wondering how social media could be done with very little effort.
I said to them the very same thing I said in our first meeting, “Social media takes your time, but not dollars from your marketing budget. You have to be willing to invest the time though to make it work for you.”
Now I realize that I left out a very important statement in speaking with them the first time around. You must have the PASSION for social media in order to make it work for you. Without the passion, the excitement for what you can attain for your business, there is no way that social media will work for you.
I told them this during our second meeting, but there was no spark. No passion. I think they will decide that social media is simply not for them.
The second business I met with has the passion. I told them right off that they had to be passionate about their social media programs and they in turn told me about all the reading and research they had already done, the excitement that they felt and their enthusiasm for getting their sites up and running right away.
I have no doubt that they are ready and willing to invest their time in social media in order to expand their business opportunities.
So I learned something very valuable this week. I learned how to better start a social media discussion – throw the passion card on the table first off and see how the business responds. I think that will cut to the chase and it will be easy for a business or organization to decide if social media is right for them.
What questions do you ask people or businesses who are interested in starting a social media program to see if they are ready and willing to jump in?
Looking for more small business marketing tips? I post a few tips each week on Just a Small Town Girl Facebook page – hope you will visit and drop a note on the wall! Please feel free to download my ebook The Small Town Marketing Handbook which discusses how social media allows each of us to succeed in our own “small town” regardless of where we live.
You're right. Passion is not an optional ingredient. You can hire a copywriter to create a passion-inspired slogan or a designer to create a one-of-a-kind page for your website, but you can't fake passion in social media. Social media is your company's “e-personality.” It's easy to spot when a company is phoning-it-in on social networks by regurgitating marketing messages. Consumers are smart. They expect transparency and passion for the business you're in. I agree that it's best not to even start in social media without both of these things.
Love the “e-personality” comparison Kara. Thanks so much for the comment!
Ok instantly I'm in love with your work because you have Disqus installed to handle your comments. This is sweet!
Now let's talk passion. I'm often left without words (actually raze that – let's go with 'occasionally'… 😉 ) when business owners forget to bring their passion and personality to the table. How can you go through the havoc and hell of setting up an enterprise without long-lasting, meaningful passion for your stuff? Yet it happens. Maybe sometimes it's simply that getting things going has sponged up all the passion in these people.
Passion when misdirected or unfocused can also be challenging on the business owner, too. I speak from great experience having a year of solopreneurship under my belt and seeing many mistakes borne from inexperience and misguided passion in doing everything myself, rather than delegating, farming out and building networks.
Your prognosis on the value of social media is spot on, Leslie. Or specifically, “do social media now, and your customers will love you. Don't, and your customers will leave you.”
I really feel your charisma coming out here, Leslie. Great call on this article!
Having the Passion, so true! Definitely something I need to encourage my clients to find in themselves as well. I'm meeting with a new client this week to discuss their social media campaign, and the subject of finding their passion is most certainly going to be on the agenda.
Thank you Dave and Kazia for taking the time to comment!
Thank you Dave and Kazia for taking the time to comment! It really is the time for most businesses to get on the social media band wagon, but you're right Dave, so many are just plain overwhelmed with all they have to do keep their businesses afloat. After my experiences, I see that part of our job as marketers is to pump these people up and get them excited about the possibilities that social media brings to the table for them.