Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz has a simple truth to say about relationships, “Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.” Only then will they be open to hear what you have to say. I happened to read this the day after yet another negative political campaign season leading up to the presidential election where I think it is safe to say we all are worn out from hearing about how much each side disliked each other.
Negative competitor ads can be effective in traditional advertising and we have a couple case studies that prove it, but this is not a recommended strategy for social media marketing. In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Robert Cialdini states in an ironic way, that liking is a weapon of influence. Is it too much to ask that we actually like our customers instead of seeing them as an enemy to be conquered?
I think this is where social media differs from traditional. It is easy to hide behind a print ad or TV commercial, in the same way we get so angry at other drivers behind protective car doors. It is different when you are cheek to cheek so to speak. That is why so many marketers are so nervous about social media. It is personal. It is social. Here your consumer is not a target. They are a real person who, if you are going to start talking to on a personal level, you should like.
So how do we get people to like us? A WikiHow article on romantic relationships gives the following advice:
1. Know your mind and heart. Have a positive personality. Know what you want.
2. Develop a respect for others. Who doesn’t like to feel respected?
3. Dress nicely. Even with a brand, appearance counts.
4. Make them feel special. Talk about what they like to talk about. Develop interest in their interests.
5. Give a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive – tweet a useful article.
6. Talk. Talk positively about life. No one likes someone who is always negative.
This is “How to Get Someone to Like Your for Real.” With the transparency of social media, it is real important. Only then will people be open to your marketing message and give you some important KPI’s such as “likes,” “shares,” or “purchases.”