Why innovative entrepreneurs should never aim to go viral (if they want to attract new customers)


Amazing pickup, millions of shares, and tons of attention. Going viral on social media must be every digital age entrepreneur’s dream. Because of all this attention, it MUST somehow translate into more sales, right? I mean, seriously Anke, why are you still running a business in traditional media? Social media is obviously the way to go these days, isn’t it?

These are questions that I frequently receive from Digital Age entrepreneurs, when I tell them that I help smart hippies to appear in newspapers, radio, and television to increase their visibility, attract more clients, and increase their happiness.

I always appreciate the critical attitude of these entrepreneurs towards traditional media. To some extent, I share their enthusiasm for Twitter, Facebook, and the likes. There’s a reason that I co-wrote this book about Twitter in 2012 😉

On the other hand working with social media for my business has taught me a harsh lesson. A lesson that I regret not having known straight from the start. It’s a fascinating lesson about the degrees of trust that arise in the subconscious brains of your customers while consuming content through various media channels. To learn this great lesson has transformed my marketing strategy completely. And since I’m about to share with you this piece of information, it could do the same to yours.

Monkeys with ADD
Social media is amazing. That is, if you want to have quick and short contact with your (potential) customers. Or piggyback on relevant newsflashes within the hour. Because on social media, your customers’ attention span is like that of a monkey with ADD: it’s engaged on a superficial level. And therefore the trust that have in the creator of the content cannot be large.

Sunday morning croissants
Traditional media is amazing. That is: for the purpose of having a deep conversation with your (potential) customers. Because your customers’ brain are different when they watch the news in the evening, listen to their favorite radioshow on Saturday morning, or read an interesting background article in the newspaper while having their Sunday croissant. They are in their more relaxed ‘lean back moment’. What  does this mean for their attention? It’s engaged more deeply. Which implies that it becomes easier for them to take your message in on a deeper lever, readiness for implementation and change, and consider steering their lives in a new direction.

Trash your Twitter?
What does this mean to you and your business? Should you now trash your twitter account? Not at all. Traditional and social media are both powerful channels for customer conversation, as long as you keep in mind how (not) to use them. How do I go about this in daily practice? I’ll share it with you in my 3 best tips:

Tip 1: Consider social media like Twitter and Facebook as channels for having short and brief contact with your (potential) customers. Examples of activities are: responding to tweets from your target group, making bold statements about your vision (especially when your domain of expertise is trending topic), publish your blog posts, and share easy to apply tips and tricks. Just triggers, no invitations.

Tip 2: Start using traditional media to reach your customers in their relaxed, lean back moments. How to go about this? What you do radically different in comparison to social media content is the following: make sure to always give your potential customer an opportunity to take a step forward in their new direction. How? Close off your content with a strategic call to action: booking your intake call, downloading your freebie, applying to your local workshop, etc.

Tip 3: Learn more deeply about the do’s and don’ts of using traditional media for your business. And find out for yourself how it can accelerate the growth of trust from your potential customers, so that they are more open to your help.

Learn from me?
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