Social Media marketing success is like an elevator ride



Welcome to the first post on my social media blog! In this post, I will give you my famous social media elevator analogy, wherein I explain why you might not want to plaster hard-core marketing messages all over your Twitter and Facebook pages.

Let’s say we’re in Las Vegas (yay!) and we’re in a mega-hotel staying in the penthouse suite (double yay!) which means we have to ride up 40 floors. For some reason, today the super-duper fast elevator is going very slow. When you get on the elevator in the lobby, you notice that the ultimate salesman – complete with plaid pants and a golf shirt – has gotten on with you, and he’s getting off on your floor. Now it’s you and the salesman going up on the elevator at a snail’s pace.

Scenario 1: TORTURE – The salesman doesn’t even wait for the door to close before he’s bombarding you with business cards and shaking your hand and telling you that he’s got the best Vegas gizmo for the best price ever and because you’re new best elevator friends he can cut you (and anyone else that’s on the elevator) a great deal. As you can imagine, that is going to be one long elevator ride. This is the annoying way to use social media – bombarding followers/fans/friends with hard-sell marketing all day every day.

Scenario 2: RELATIONSHIP – The salesman gets on the elevator and just smiles a friendly smile your way. You smile back and say “hello.” Because you’ve been friendly, the salesman says “Is Vegas an awesome city or what?” – because you have a commonality (you’re both in Vegas, in the hotel elevator.) You say “I’ve had the greatest stay!” and now you’re having a conversation. By the time you get to the 20th floor, the salesman has given you the most useful piece of information, such as you can get a free drink by mentioning his name at the bar. He has now positioned himself as something of an authority on this particular Vegas hotel. You are very grateful for the tip, and ask what the salesman does for a living. The salesman says he sells Vegas gizmos. Now, you and the salesman have a relationship – you are both human beings having a fun time in Vegas and now there’s this gizmo for sale. You, being the savvy person you are, ask him for a deal. He says “now that we’re friends, I can sell it to you 10 percent off. Not everyone gets this deal.” By the time you get off the elevator on the 40th floor, you’ve exchanged business cards, promised to meet at the bar to get that free drink, you’ve bought a gizmo AND you’re likely to tell all your friends about this great guy you met on the elevator. That, my friends, is social media, done right.

Do you see how you would tune out the salesman in scenario 1? He could hard-sell you for 40 floors, and you can’t shut him up, but you can just nod and tune him out. In scenario 2, you’ve ENGAGED each other in meaningful CONVERSATION and you didn’t feel like you were being hit over the head with a sales pitch. Additionally, because you’ve now got a RELATIONSHIP with this person, you are going to go tell your friends and sell his product for him!

Can you think of another social media analogy? Did this analogy help explain things? Let’s talk about it in comments!

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