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Your Grandmother Could Teach You a Thing or Two about Social Media Marketing

Your Grandmother may not understand what the World Wide Web is but she could probably teach you a thing or two about Social Media Marketing.

Remember Beatrice? She’s the lovable Esurance “Offline Over-Sharer” that doesn’t quite get it when it comes to Social Media.

Beatrice may not understand how Facebook works but if she’s anything like your Grandmother she could teach you a lot about Social Media Marketing.

Take a look around Facebook or Twitter or Google+. Most of the posts on most of the accounts across the Social Media universe are meant to push a message out. They aren’t designed for engagement. They aren’t part of any conversation.

Many marketers and advertisers who have come from the traditional media space to the Social Media Marketing space have trouble with this. They’re used to TV ads, radio spots, even print-media ad space.

Maybe this is how you think about marketing media.

The problem is that when your Ideal Client is on Social Media they don’t want to be sold to.

Your Grandmother would understand this.

Now I realize that your Grandmother may not have sold anything in her entire life but she understood the art and power of conversation.

Bridge Club

Every Tuesday she went to her Bridge Club and sat around a table with friends that she knew, she liked and she trusted. They talked about everything from what was going on in the neighborhood to what they bought at the store last week to what she and your Granddad were planning to do this weekend.

They may have even played cards.

Does this sound familiar? What can we learn from your Grandmother?

Let’s start by looking at the idea of the Bridge Club. Whether or not your Grandmother and her friends were serious about playing cards doesn’t matter. What matters is that they were a group of like-minded individuals with similar interests that gathered in one place.

Who is your Ideal Client? Where can you find other people that think like your Ideal Client? Where do people that are interested in the same things as your Ideal Client get together online?

Know, Like and Trust

Let’s look at the women that made up your Grandmother’s Bridge Club. If hers was anything like my Grandmother’s the Bridge Club was a tightknit group. These same women got together week after week for decades. It took a lot to introduce a new player into the group. All these women knew each other, liked each other and trusted each other.

Does your Ideal Client know you? Do they like you? Do they trust you? Talk to any marketer and they’ll tell you that people do business with people that they know like and trust. What are you going to do to get to know your Ideal Client; to get your Ideal Client to like you; to gain their trust?

Conversations, not Bullhorns

Finally, let’s look at what your Grandmother and her friends did at Bridge Club. Sure they played cards, but probably more importantly they had conversations. And they had conversations with their friends (remember the people they knew, liked and trusted?).

Your Grandmother would never stand on the street corner and scream to every passerby about the latest meatloaf recipe she tried.

Are you engaging with your Ideal Client on Social Media? Are you starting conversations? Or are you doing the equivalent of standing on the street corner shouting at whoever will listen as they pass by? I hate to tell you that even if someone does hear you, they don’t know you, they don’t like you, they don’t trust you and they aren’t going to hire you.

So next time you’re on your favorite Social Media channel, take a minute to see who’s engaging and who’s simply blathering on about themselves. The good ones are having conversations. The bad ones are like a street corner preacher and, in the immortal words of Beatrice’s Friend …

“That’s not how this works; that’s not how any of this works.”


Beatrice is a character created for Esurance

What are you talking about online? Who are you engaging with? Do you need help figuring out where your Ideal Client is and what they’re talking about? Leave a comment below or drop me an email. I want to know.

My goal is to start an open dialogue and let Architect of the Internet be a forum where we can all learn to have success in the business of architecture through Social Media Marketing.

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About Jeff Echols

Jeff Echols is the creative Storyteller for Award-Winning architecture firms and the Social Media Campaign Manager for industry professionals. He is a graduate of Ball State University with over 20 years’ experience in the marketing departments of firms ranging from three to three thousand employees.

Jeff spends countless hours studying, developing and implementing strategies for insuring marketing success for Architects and other business owners in the online arena. He documents the good, the bad and the ugly in Social Media at Architect of the Internet and speaks about Conquering Social Media in venues ranging from the Board Room to the Convention Stage.

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