Some things never go out of style.
The same goes for some basic marketing practices.
Even though business owners have to promote their companies very differently nowadays – especially online, and especially on social media – there are still some fundamentals that remain in place.
In fact, if you’re an old school entrepreneur, and can remember a time when you owned a phone that couldn’t take pictures (or walking your pet stegosaurus), you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that you have an advantage over the new up-and-coming wave of business owners.
That’s right – you have an advantage.
You have an advantage because you’ve had time to master the soft skills that are transferable to the world of social media marketing.
These skills will always be in vogue, no matter what new technologies, platforms, or social media trends arise.
Marketing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter didn’t just suddenly materialize out of nowhere.
Social media marketing evolved out of what’s been working for business owners since the first cave-person sold the first wheel for 3 rock dollars.
There is no school like the old school.
Here are just a few old school marketing tactics that are still valid today, within the realm of social media marketing:
Then, a few hours later, he was discovered flying on a commercial airline.
Needless to say, this person was relentlessly mocked for his actions on social media. You could argue that any publicity is good publicity, but you could also say the person in question was embarrassed and his brand suffered some damage.
What’s more, this isn’t really an isolated case – these kinds of shenanigans happen all the time.
How desperate is that?
Being authentic on social media can be a challenge.
Entrepreneurs sometimes fall into this trap where they compare their lives and businesses with those of others they see on Facebook and Instagram, not fully realizing they are comparing their “behind-the-scenes” with the “highlight reels” of others.
It’s a losing game.
Nevertheless, being authentic and true to yourself is imperative to your journey as an entrepreneur.
How can you feel passionate about a business that doesn’t truly align with who you are, or your values as a person?
And, if you’re not passionate, how can you find the inner fuel that it takes to make your business a success?
Running a business that you can’t feel passionate about is too much work.
It’s a recipe for burnout and disaster.
Furthermore, how can you relate to the audience that is right for you when you’re pretending to be something you’re not?
They’ll see right through you.
Or worse, they’ll be drawn to you for the wrong reasons, and sooner or later you’ll let them down.
And, while this is happening, you’ll feel the impending collapse of someone who is faking their way through life and business.
Be authentic. Stand tall with what you have to offer. Attract the right audience – the one that you are qualified to help and work with.
Grow your business with the confidence and self-assuredness of knowing who you are. It’s the only way to succeed.
Know your audience.
How well do you know your target audience?
You can know all the latest apps and social media trends inside-out, but if you don’t know your audience, it won’t mean a thing.
You can only create content that lights a fire under your audience if you understand what resonates with them.
You won’t be able to hold conversations with your target audience, or engage with them on social media, unless you know where they are coming from.
You won’t be able to build rapport, and eventually sell to them, if you don’t understand who they are.
You need to know what your audience needs, what problems they face, and what inspires them to take action.
You need to know how to communicate with them and what it takes to have a meaningful dialogue with them.
New school marketers might have a handle on the technology. But old school marketers know that it’s more important that they know their audience.
Understand that real relationships take time.
Thanks to social media, it is now possible to reach out to and engage with more people than ever.
However, that doesn’t mean you get to take your social media relationships for granted.
You still have to invest in you relationships.
You still have to put in the time, effort, and resources.
You still have to put value on the table FIRST.
REAL value – such as killer content that informs, helps, and inspires others to take action.
Just because you meet someone on Facebook, or LinkedIn, doesn’t mean you can expect a sale out of them right away.
When it comes to business relationships, you have to have patience.
Back in the old days, networking events, golf games, and coffee meetups weren’t considered a waste of time if you didn’t walk away with a closed deal.
It was understood that these were stepping stones to real relationships that would lead to business down the road.
Using the same logic, you can’t expect to make a sale the first time someone likes your blog post or follows you on Instagram.
You need to engage, you need to find common ground, you need to appreciate one another and you need to help each other.
And this takes time.
Never forget the value of a face-to-face interaction.
Connecting with someone on social media is just the beginning.
You have to put in face time.
And, I don’t just mean FaceTime, I mean “face time” – get it?
You will never connect with someone online the same way you will when you have a face-to-face conversation with them.
Eventually, you have to be able to talk to people you can see and hear.
At some point, it will be important to engage in person – whether you have to rely on technology to make this happen, or not.
There are just some nuances you will never get without meeting them in real life.
Do your personalities click?
Does your instinct say you can trust this person?
What does their body language tell you?
Old school entrepreneurs value meeting people in real life (or at least on Skype, which is close to the real thing) and having meaningful conversations with like-minded people.
Some things never go out of style. Social media marketing may be relatively new, but many old school practices still hold up. Always be authentic on social media. Know your audience and how you can help them. Understand that in business, meaningful relationships take time to cultivate. And, never forget the value of a face-to-face interaction.