Social Media Marketing: Is This Really a Conversation?

Social media is hyped as a powerful tool for ‘connecting’ with your audience. While the technology creates this potential, my experience has been that most social media usage is essentially one-way, direct mail. 
There are many people I have relationships with in the ‘real’ world whose communications with me via Facebook, email, Twitter, etc. are unsolicited self-promotion, certainly not a ‘conversation’. This can be annoying, and the net effect is to reduce the level of trust and credibility. When I receive unsolicited promotional material from strangers I immediately cross them off the list.
When we opt-in we intentionally agree to accept ongoing promotional blasts but we can always unsubscribe if these communications don’t add value. 
An authentic conversation adds value in both directions. The real question to ask yourself is, “How can I help you?” 
If a band or artist I follow comments on a post of mine it means something, and of course it works the other way around. 
Before you hit the ‘Send’ button think about what you are really giving to your audience.

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