At Blogworld 2009, Social Media Marketing was still a concept in development. A few weeks later, Mashable declared that there were 15,740 “Social Media Experts” on Twitter – a number indicating that many people were claiming to be experts, and that few were. At Blogworld 2009 itself – the motto seemed to be “How can I help you?” The motto was touted by all of the big names as a means, I guess, of getting would-be social media enthusiasts into giving mode rather than receiving mode. The problem was – the phrase was too vague. “How can I help you?” became “let me show you how to retweet,” “here’s how you post a message on your friend’s wall,” and “follow me and I’ll follow you.” It’s no exaggeration – after Blogworld 2009, Twitter account’s bios all over the place started reading “how can I help you?” and no real concrete help was being given. So I propose an alternative: “What can I do for you?”
“What can I do for you” commits you to action. The word “do” implies that you’re willing to work with the person – not just tell them that about tools and very general concepts. It implies that you’re willing to sit with the person face-to-face, show them how to set up a Hootsuite account, and then show them what the best possible way to garner a following for their niche industry is. And then – show them how you maintain a schedule for that routine. It implies you’re willing to put some skin in the game.
Here are some things you can do to break the ice for yourself and really truly do something for someone: