Social Media minus The Myths – Chapter 1 – Get your basics right

6th Aug 2010
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This is a guest article by Advit Sahdev, Founder of the Online Digital Marketing Agency ODigMa. They specialize in social media marketing in India with special focus on Facebook business communities. Read more about Advit here.

Let me tell you a small personal story. I studied in NIT Surathkal, Karnataka and used to be a regular back bencher. I had an awesome bunch of friends and 4 of us used to study in the same branch. We were all from different parts of the country yet had a great bond.

One day, during the lunch break, we went to eat at a road side Dhaba and found that there was a huge rush there. This Dhaba typically used to serve one or two vegetables everyday and had a standard menu for every day of the week. Usually only north Indians used to visit this place and at any given time, there would be a max of 15 people in his Dhaba

Today there were more than 100 people, and not only were they just there, they were eager to order and get the food. We decided to skip the Dhaba food for that day as we could not wait for an hour.

I, however, decided that I will come back and find out on what was going on.

A week later, I went to the Dhaba owner Raju and asked him the whole story. He himself didn't know on what happened. I asked him if he had been doing something different - He was still not sure. He was very happy with the number of students, but at the same time a bit scared as he didn't know what had happened. The next day, I decided to check with the students. I bunked my Electrical Machines class (hope my prof is not reading this) and came an hour before the lunch so that I could check with each and every student.

I also came there to be the first one to eat.

I started asking each and every student on why they came to this Dhaba, specially the not so regular ones. All had the same answer; my friend told me that they serve great north Indian food here. After an hour of interviewing, 7 rotis and 2 lassis, I saw a trend. It all started when Subbu, our college president ate at the Dhaba 2 weeks back and told his friends about how much he loved the place. His friends came the next day (around 7 or 8), ate and loved the food and told each of their friends about it and so on.

This was Raju's claim to fame and in fact this is every successful business' claim to fame.

No, it's not just word of mouth; it is word of mouth spreading at a rapid pace in a close knit group.

If your business can do the same, you can also grow your customers at a rapid pace, and if not customers, at least you get huge brand awareness.

Just remember the basics -

  • People trust word of mouth more than any thing else
  • Word of mouth has to spread very fast, or else it will not show you significant results
  • The word of mouth is best spread across like minded people (food lovers in this case)

We as humans often fail to realize the basics. All the technologies in the world is just a tool that should be used. We should not fall prey to these tools and expect humans to behave in a different way. Only those who understand this basic fact will succeed.

Today everyone treats social media as a magical tool that will do wonders to your business. This is more like the days when everyone started to create a website and get online, without understanding that "you can't sell ice online"

This article is first of a series of articles that will demystify your myths about social media and keep you sane.

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