I’ve decided not to attend social media conferences for a while. The issue isn’t the conferences, it’s the people. Frankly, I have too many “Shallow Hal” moments.
True story: during the last conference we attended, Laura and I buddied up to talk to folks in the designated networking area. We corraled a social media celebrity and tried to strike up a conversation. Within moments, the celeb began an awkward pitch for purchasing a book that he felt “was the best book on content marketing he had ever read.”
We thanked him for the recommendation and tried to learn more about what was going on in his life. He wasn’t interested in that conversation; he had to pump his friend’s book. I get it. He also had a book out at the time, and he was doing some shallow reciprocity work.
After that, I couldn’t help but notice that thousands of shallow social transactions were happening throughout the room:
“Hi Stan, what can I do for you?”
“I’m not sure, who are you?”
“I’m the social media manager for ACME widgets, and I would love to help you in any way that I can.”
“Nothing at the moment, how about we sit down and talk a bit.”
“Would love to but I need to talk with BETA celeb over there. But would you mind retweeting my blog post?”
“Um, I might after reading it.”
“Ok, well let me know if you need anything!”
Another shallow transaction.
The Shallow Transaction Problem
Unfortunately, social media and content marketing have veered toward shallow transactions rather than substantive stories, intentional interaction, and long-term relationships. Just check your inbox or Twitter DM box to see ample evidence of the social one-night stand — Give me a tweet and I’ll give you a tweet. Add me to your link bait post and I will you add you to mine. It’s nauseating and ineffective at best.
The problem goes even deeper when you think about customers on the other end of our shallow social media. I’m hearing more stories of customers rewarding companies that show a deep and authentic interest in their lives. This is the antithesis of shallow social: it’s deep and effective.
Laura and I discuss a better way to leverage the relationship potential of social media with a “Deep Story” mindset. It is a fascinating conversation that will give you some genuine tips for improving your content marketing results.
Let’s Chat About It
Head over to The Marketing Huddle to leave your comments on this podcast. Laura and I would enjoy hearing from you.