I came across this quote recently:

“Writers need a strong grasp of creating and developing valuable content that attracts and engages a business’s target audiences while driving profitable customer conversions and actions.”

Sounds reasonable to me. Could almost be a definition of copywriting.

The interesting thing about the quote is that it’s not from some 70’s or 80’s marketing manual. It was posted online in the context of how to make social media work for businesses.

The message is this: nothing’s changed, except for some new ways for getting your message across to people.

You can now reach lots more people, more quickly, more cheaply than anyone ever dreamed possible, even 10 years ago.

Reaching plenty of people is all well and good and may lift your brand profile if loads of people say they ‘Like’ you, or choose to ‘share’ you with their friends.

But you still want to sell stuff.

Pull, don’t push

So your messaging – on Facebook for example – needs to be carefully packaged and crafted.

It should grab attention, be useful to the reader and compel them to share it with others.

Eventually it may convert them to a buyer.

But, and it’s a large but (so-to-speak), it’s not about ‘pushing’ a message.

Unlike the traditional approach where someone’s life would be interrupted for 30 seconds by a TV commercial, or they’d have a direct mail flyer shoved into their letterbox, marketing on the internet is about messages being ‘pulled’.

People go online looking for information that they ‘pull’ from the source.

It’s about them being in control – they don’t go to your website to be screamed at.

Using social media means being subtle about putting your brand out there.

You do this by being part of a conversation, not an uninvited guest speaker.

And you do so over time, not in one, but in many conversations.

One social marketing strategist has called this a ‘Return on Relationship’ to distinguish it from traditional ROI strategies.

Social media offers increasingly more channels to reach your audience.

But it can be a slow burn strategy to get from conversation to conversion.