I’ve Got Layers Like An Onion

By: Michael Flanigan

Does anyone remember this scene from Shrek? I think it’s the perfect analogy to social media marketing. It has a lot of layers and there is definitely more to it than meets the eye.

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A lot of times I hear the words ROI, metrics, goals, conversion, etc. thrown around, which are important in marketing and a social media strategy, but don’t get at the heart of the problem.

Social media marketing is all about having conversations with people and building relationships and connections. These things can’t really be quantified by typical means, but marketers, executives and others try.

The main reason people may not see the returns they want is because they are only focusing on that first layer of social media marketing: broadcasting. It’s a great platform to get the word out about anything. It’s cheap and effective at doing it too.

But there is so much more to it. The second layer, which is where the people succeeding are, is helping or permission marketing. They are helping others solve problems and thus getting access to them to tell them about their products and services.

The third layer, which very few are harnessing is what is known as tribe or community building. Community building is an old concept and focuses on the main goal of all social media, which is to have others identify and collaborate with one another. These communities are powerful and can make you a living (check this out).

But even with these three layers that I’ve mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. Relationships in life can cover a broad range and can go very deeply, which is what excites me about social media. Seth Godin mentions different levels of permission marketing in his book. One of them he calls intravenous marketing, which is where the marketer has free reign and can sell the client whatever they want without their permission.

Social media has layers that have yet to be tapped, but to get to those you have to build the  foundation correctly first. Social media is about people talking to people. If a sale happens from that then great. If you seek to connect and help people first, good things will happen. It’s not the ads or the potential that makes social media great; it’s the people.

Focus on them and dig deeper to really experience the full potential of social media.

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