In this video Mark Schaefer does a great job of explaining social media marketing lessons from his grandfather, the plumber.
Mark’s grandfather was a plumber in Pittsburgh. His success as a plumber was about him using some basic practices based on a personal touch that is somewhat lost in our world of online business.
This Pittsburgh plumber approached business from a human perspective. Part of this was out of necessity because, as Mark states in the video, he couldn’t hide behind ads or PR. To stay in business he had to get the job done and rely on word-of-mouth referrals. The other part was employing what came naturally, his ability to deal with people.
More than a few posts ago I detailed the importance of story as a way to get your audience to like, know, and trust you. And how insanely important it is to make your audience the focus of your never-ending story. This is where Mark’s grandfather’s “methodologies” enter the picture in the form of a few simple lessons. Things you need to keep in mind when telling YOUR ongoing story.
1. Open up and tell your story in the most honest way possible
Why did people buy from Mark’s grandfather? Because they knew and liked him. His customers didn’t care one iota about advertising or marketing. There was a personal connection. That personal connection led to liking, trusting, and buying.
There’s a simple lesson here but a lesson many forget. It’s about being the genuine article and writing, engaging, speaking from a place of honesty. Don’t hide behind the facade of social media, PR, or your blog. Be You and think about stopping a few habits that might be holding you and your brand back.
2. Realize that business IS social
Mark’s video is about social media and why old school lessons still apply in this fast-paced, fickle, impersonal online realm. To me, the biggest lesson of all is that business is social. Many people forget this because they are so caught up on the online jungle.
In business you have to show up and engage with people, but what if your business is primarily online? Have you forgotten the um, “social” aspect of social media and the web?
We tend to treat people differently online vs. offline but we shouldn’t. If Mark’s grandfather were still around, he could probably make some good money writing a short, sweet, little book about the human aspect of marketing and how to do it the right way.
3. Love your customers (and your audience)
Think about your business and who pays the bills. Think about your website and the traffic that rolls in. Think about those people that give you love on social media.
The real “social” aspect of Mark’s grandfather, is probably the biggest reason he was successful. He loved people and people loved him back. Work to do this, offline and online.
These are simple but important practices you should incorporate in your little online world. People still want to buy from other people they like, know, and trust. That part hasn’t changed. So work to incorporate the above practices in your brand story as you engage with customers every day.
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