Picture this, its half time at the Social Media Bowl and the score is hunters 6 and farmers 94. But hunters always outscore farmers, right? My experience as a Social Media Mentor and Social Media Speaker indicates that's not necessarily the case when it comes to Social Media Marketing. Let's take a closer look at why.
What is the hunter mentality as it relates to sales?
www.Answers.com says: "A hunter mentality means you focus on generating and developing new leads. This would be finding new prospects, developing or rekindling cold prospects, or expanding into new marketplaces entirely. In short, like a "hunter" you go out and find "food."
The opposite of a hunter mentality is a farmer mentality. A farmer expands and cultivates existing business. For example, your company and product are already accepted in the marketplace, make sales based on referrals, sell to warm leads (or leads who contact you), and expand business with your existing clients."
As you may know, Inbound Social Media Marketing is much more like Relationship Marketing. www.Wikipedia.com defines it as: "Relationship Marketing was first defined as a form of marketing developed from direct response marketing campaigns which emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a dominant focus on sales transactions.
As a practice, Relationship Marketing differs from other forms of marketing in that it recognizes the long term value of customer relationships and extends communication beyond intrusive advertising and sales promotional messages.
With the growth of the internet and mobile platforms, Relationship Marketing has continued to evolve and move forward as technology opens more collaborative and social communication channels. This includes tools for managing relationships with customers that goes beyond simple demographic and customer service data. Relationship Marketing extends to include Inbound Marketing efforts (a combination of search [engine] optimization [SEO] and Strategic Content), PR, Social Media and Application Development."
If you think about it for a while it makes sense. Building Online Relationships requires establishing yourself as a subject matter expert (SME) then developing trust and confidence with your prospects over time first before you "ask for the order" or "reorders".
Maybe farmers just have a built in advantage when it comes to Social Media Marketing? Farmers plant their seeds, wait for them to sprout, and then water the seeds, fertilize and cultivate around the young plants. They hope and pray for sunshine and rain so that the plants will grow big and strong. If the farmer is lucky and it doesn't hail or flood or get blown over by the wind the plant will eventually bloom and bear fruit. Then weeks, sometimes months later when the fruit is ripe you can finally "harvest" the crops. Now, all of that takes a lot of time and PATIENCE that many hunters lack.
In my own Social Media Consulting practice, I've seen traditional "hunters" have a lot of problems with the patience part and their desire to invest the time and energy necessary to build successful online social media relationships. Many times I've seen them go right for the sale and end up irreparably damaging a very promising opportunity.
What do you think? Can the hunters come back in the second half with a new game plan to win the Social Media bowl? Please share your thoughts and opinions by posting a comment below.
Dave Westfall is an experienced Social Media Consultant and Social Media Speaker with DewPointe Ventures LLC. His areas of expertise include Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing and developing proven Social Media Optimization (SMO) strategies that work to help you grow and transform your business. Please visit www.SocialMedia-Outsourcing.com to find out how you can attract new clients without lifting a finger.
Click on these links to follow Dave on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn.
To your success,
Dave Westfall, MBA
Your Social Media Mentor
P.S. I'd be happy to answer your Social Media Questions, just click on the link.
Or send a Twitter message to @davewestfall.