Social Media: The Gateway Drug

Let me make some things clear: Despite all my talk of caring about the customer, I’m not Mother Teresa. Despite my use of emerging platforms, I’m not a technologist who is out here to make the world better (I didn’t have my own computer until I was a freshman in college). I love the art of building businesses and branding through social media platforms.

It is my belief right now that social media is an incredible gateway to create a relationship that can lead to conversion. Whether that conversion happens within social, on the phone, or in-person is irrelevant, what matters is that social is the most powerful way to get people hooked on your brand or at least curious about it.

Social media is a gateway drug.

Now the reason I say ‘gateway drug’ is that in a dealer’s mentality (important to note, kids, that I have never done/sold/advocated drugs. We’re talking in metaphors here.), if you can get someone started on something cheap and easy early in their ‘career’, then you can step up to selling them something more profitable down the line. You’ve got to start somewhere, and I think there is no better place to start than social.

Maybe another way to look at it would be modern evolution of the cold-call, only now it’s more like a lukewarm call because I can hit up and predetermine that you’re talking about Cabernet and you’re a Red Sox fan. I can then jump in and make that connection almost effortlessly, at which point there will be a pretty good chance you’ll engage with me and we initiate a solid interpersonal connection.

Now you’re potentially hooked. Maybe eventually I offer you food-pairing advice and send you a free shipping coupon. Now you owe me (have I mentioned how incredibly powerful guilt is as a motivator?). This relationship continues and eventually you’re buying cases from me and all because I was able to make that first step on social. That’s not something you can do with a billboard or a TV ad. In 140 characters and 15 seconds of research, I have achieved a more emotional, human connection than any $8 million Superbowl commercial could.

The initial point of contact really matters, and there is no other way you can do it as well and at the same scale as social (especially Twitter). If you have your phone, there is nothing stopping you from jumping into any conversation at any time day or night. That’s what I love about Twitter. On the other hand, with something like Pinterest, you can go and re-pin someone’s content. That creates a point of context.

Commenting on someone’s Facebook status, or double-tapping an Instagram post achieve the same thing. On the other hand you could put out your own piece of content, setting the stage for interaction in the comments. All of these provide an extremely high level of context that makes closing on the deal, when the time comes, that much easier than just blasting the same message to everybody watching Breaking Bad at any given moment.



~ by Pete Peluso on September 6, 2013.

One Response to “Social Media: The Gateway Drug”

  1. Reblogged this on How to Make MASSIVE Cash..

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