Are you successful in social media campaigning? Look around you.  Is there anyone else with you?  Is there anyone even near you?

campaigning1Okay…  I say that somewhat figuratively.  But think about it.  Are you TELLING others about your business, your industry, politics, dreams, fears, or aspirations?

Or are you TALKING with them about theirs?

If you look around and seem to be virtually alone, maybe you’re taking the wrong approach to the campaign.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ustream, Flickr, along with the endless number of other social media platforms out there are for precisely one impetus.  Like a campaign, your intention is to build community.  And I’m not talking about tipping the polls with sheer numbers. Who cares that you have 10,000 followers on Twitter?  How many of those 10,000 actually engage in your community – “Youville?” If you want to be President of “Youville,” you’re going to need to campaign, recruit, coerce, engage, and ultimately communicate and relate with those that would be your constituents.

There are those I see that do it pretty darn well. I call them “Thought-leaders” in their industries.  They’re engaging and relevant to their communities.  They campaign their positions with intellect and verve. And we’re all eager to follow along, to learn, to re-tweet, re-post and lap up the droppings just to be involved.  They accept suggestions and conversations about their thoughts.  They teach.  They learn.

Then there are those that “campaign.”  They soapbox. They rabble-rouse and conjecture; like planning some sort of coup – pushing information out with such ferocity that they miss the engagement side of social media. They forget the community side of social media.  They forget their constituents.

Ultimately they lose the campaign for “Youville.” And then they complain that social media is worthless for their “business model” or their “industry” – a waste of time.

I say they’re just not Presidential. It’s a fact.  Not everyone can be president.

So, from one of those “Thought-Leaders,” Mack Collier, I’d like to reiterate what makes “Social Media” social.  If you’re not doing a majority (if not ALL) of these things…  You may need to get out of the race. (you can read the full text of Mack’s post here)

1 – Promote other people. All it does is make others more likely to promote you, and want to interact with you.

2 – Watch your language. I don’t mean what you say, but HOW you say it. How you interact with others greatly determines if and how they will respond.

3 – Show people that you value their opinions. … From my experience, the room is ALWAYS smarter than I am, so anything I can do to encourage interaction with everyone else, means I am going to learn something.

4 – Show people that you care. … there’s a lot of people I follow that I rarely, if ever, tweet with. But … One thing I do is if I see someone I rarely tweet with mention that they got a new job, or a new car, or got married, etc, I will send them a quick tweet congratulating them. Doesn’t take 5 secs, but it quickly let’s them know that I’m watching and care enough to congratulate them.

5 – Say ‘thank you’ early and often. It matters. This isn’t rocket science, it’s social media.

Campaigns should be run similarly.  Create connections to your community and grow it with value and trust, not volume and thrust!

What do you think?  Do you have more tips for winning the “Youville” elections?  I’d love to carry on the conversation.

Keep Cooking!
Andrew B. Clark
–The Brand Chef