While I find many people in the industry who understand the basic concept of social media marketing, I find that too many people are looking for the silver bullet that will catapult them or their client into instant stardom. If you are searching for the silver bullet, there’s a good chance you’ll never find it. However there is a technique that will pay you dividends forever. Read on to learn more about it.
Giving A Gift While Starving
In Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, a number of tactics are outlined which highlight the various tactics that marketers can use to improve their persuasive techniques. One of the most important tactics is outlined in a story which describes a donation in 1985 which came from the impoverished nation of Ethiopia. It was a donation which was sent to Mexico, a country which was in far better condition to care for itself. However that year Mexico had become a victim of some large earthquakes in Mexico City.
Even so, why would a country which could not care for its own people make a donation of $5,000? According to Cialdini, “Despite the enormous needs prevailing in Ethiopia, the money was being sent because Mexico had sent aid to Ethiopia in 1935, when it was invaded by Italy.” In other words, it was the need to reciprocate, a need which transcends all cultures, which drove Ethiopia to make a donation to Mexico, despite their own need for support.
Take This Free Flower As A Token Of Our Appreciation
One other classic example of the law of reciprocation is the well known group, The Hare Krishna Society. Hare Krishnas became best known for large groups of followers who would sit in the street and beg for funds. Begging wasn’t effective though so the organization stepped up their tactics and switched to one in which targeted individuals are given a gift, regularly a flower which is placed in their hand or pinned to their jacket or shirt.
As Cialdini explains, even if the individual refuses the gift (after it has been placed in their possession), the Krishna member states “No, it is our gift to you”, refusing to accept it back. The result was dramatic and according to the story, the Hare Krishna Society grew wildly, with the new fundraising tactics “funding the ownership of temples, businesses, houses, and property in 321 centers”. You aren’t representing the Hare Krishnas or running a country though, so how is this relevant to you?
Give More Than You Receive
Many social media marketers that I meet don’t truly embrace one of the most important laws of success: always give more than you receive. In the end, it will come back to you a thousand fold. Is this a tactic which you should employ because you are looking to “trick” others into giving you something? While the Hare Krishna model works, I’d suggest that you hold a longer-term vision.
Provide True Value (Free Content)
Do you know that I had no business model when I launched AllFacebook? Most online businesses don’t have a way to generate revenue when they launch. For the longest time I criticized this model, however I found myself following the same path. The mantra was simple: give more than you receive. One of your jobs as a social media marketer (or even a marketer in general), is to figure out content that you can give away as a gift.
That means investing significant time and effort to develop content which will pay you with traffic and new relationships which could eventually be “monetized”.
Give Away Your Secrets For Free
One of the most entertaining things that I found about many of the online products which “teach you how to make money online”, spend their entire time explaining how to do exactly what they just did to you when you registered for their service. In other words, they gave you (illustrated) all their secrets during the registration process. They then created a guide which explained to you how they developed their registration process and encourage you to do the same for your own product.
While I don’t think creating a product that will teach you how to make money online is the secret to your future success, I believe a technique which I love to employ: give away your secrets for free. Wait! If I’m giving away my secrets for free, what else do I have to offer? That’s for you to figure out, however the secrets that you just gave away for free resulted in new customers and a passionate following.
One other thing that giving away your secrets for free accomplishes is that it requires you to constantly improve your strategies (or in street lingo, it “forces you to step up your game”). Listen, I’m not suggesting that you should run to your competitor, hug them, and hand over a list with all your secret marketing techniques. Honestly, you don’t want to give your secrets to people who aren’t ready for them. If you don’t understand what I mean by this, watch the classic Glengarry Glen Ross scene below (beware there are a few curse words).
If you want the family friendly version, you can watch this video:
If you are speaking with people who have “brass balls” as Alec Baldwin describes them, then you should share your secrets.
Keep on giving! The more that you give, the more that you’ll get in return and while some people claim they are giving away solid value, the real measure of that value will be the response that you get. All I have left is to ask is this: what are you giving? Feel free to let us know in the comments! We’d also love to hear what other strategies you believe generate true, lasting value.