Lessons in Social Marketing From My 80 Year Old Dad
In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, there’s something really anachronistic about flipping through old picture albums, but you just never know what treasures they’ll reveal. For example, I was recently going through some old family albums and I came across a photocopy of an old newspaper ad from 60′s (I added the text because the original was too faded to reproduce here):
I didn’t really know what it was, or why I had a kept it, until I looked down a little further and saw who the ad was from: “Frank Power – Picture Framer.”
Frank Power is my dad. He wrote this ad/poem over 40 years ago — and somehow convinced the local newspaper to publish it — long before the advent of social media or “storytelling ads.” In many respects, my Dad was always ahead of his time. These days he’d probably be referred to as a “serial entrepreneur.” Back then, he was known simply as a businessman.
Don’t State Facts — Paint Pictures
In the remote province of Newfoundland, Canada, in the 1960′s, writing ads with pictures and poems made for some interesting comments in the letters to the editor section of the local newspaper. Some people loved these ads and looked forward to a new one every week. Some people hated them. Others scratched their heads and asked their friends if they’d seen the ads in the paper from “Frank Power – Picture Framer.”
What my Dad realized, is that these ads helped to paint a picture in people’s minds about the person behind the ads. People’s imaginations turned out to be much more vivid and flattering than any dry, fact-based ads that spoke about my Dad’s skill as a picture framer. People could call the number at the bottom of the ad to find out about his services, hours of operation and so on — so my dad figured, “Why take up all this valuable space with mere facts?”
It’s About Who Your Are — Not What You Do
Today, social media marketing allows us to do the same thing my dad was doing over 40 years ago — using a powerful medium to convey an advertising message in a more personal, emotional way. Today, people want to get to know the owner of a business before they walk in the store. Or they might feel better about buying a guitar at the local music store, for instance, knowing that the staff all play in bands around town.
Use the power of social media to connect with people, as opposed to simply conveying facts. Let people know who you are, and they’ll find out for themselves “what you do.” If you let people know, through social media, that you’re a decent, caring person with integrity, they’ll already have these positive preconceptions when it comes time to do business with you.
Oh, and one more thing…thanks, Dad!
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February 22, 2017 at 10:18PM