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Mar 1, 2011

Why We Should Stop Throwing Spaghetti Against the Wall

[caption id="attachment_12810" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="The cure for throwing spaghetti? Using your noodle!"][/caption]

Spaghetti throwing, we’ve all done it. OK, maybe not actual spaghetti throwing, but figuratively speaking most of us are guilty, especially when it comes to social media, email or marketing a business in general. So what do I mean when I say spaghetti throwing?

Good question.

You might be a spaghetti thrower if you:

  • Send out mass emails/posts/tweets to people you know (and most likely many you don’t know) about a “great opportunity”
  • When business posts outnumber personal posts -- remember social media is SOCIAL!
  • Link to a “great product” or video on your Facebook/Twitter page with the last line mentioning “if anyone’s interested let me know”
  • Using auto-feeds of MonaVie or other types of content and flooding your social media streams without interacting
  • Cook spaghetti and throw it (this goes without saying)

The Shotgun/Spaghetti Approach vs.  A Strategic Approach

A couple of years ago I was laid off from my job, (a harrowing event in my life, but not unexpected working in the real estate industry in Southern California). With a wife and two kids, this life changing event was one I was not prepared for (who is?) and the job search market was a completely new frontier. One of the first job opportunities I looked into was a great position, with a great company. Before applying for the position, I decided to call the hiring manager about the position. After a few ninja moves and creative negotiations I was transferred to her. She informed me that she had received over 300 resumes to go through and that there were many qualified applicants. My heart sank. I soon figured out, simply updating my resume and posting it to online job sites (which I have done before) was not going to be enough to get interviews, and not only that, the competition for jobs was fierce.  (Cue the self doubt!)

How was I going to stand out?

How am I going to differentiate myself from the competition? (sound familiar?)

I decided to dig in. I read tons of articles. I spoke with an outplacement agency. I delved into LinkedIn (a great resource BTW) and I revamped my resume to try to truly stand out. For job postings I wanted to apply for, I researched the company, the products, and would customize my resume to fit the job position. I would also customize a cover letter as well. The process was slow, and at times I would apply for up to 2-4 positions maximum a day. But a strange thing happened... I started getting interviews. In fact the job I originally inquired about later called me back for multiple interviews (they ended up offering the job to an internal candidate who “changed their mind”—but stay with me here there’s a point coming!).

During this time a colleague of mine, let's call him Chuck (short for spaghetti chucker), who was also unemployed, spoke to me about how his job search was going. His frustration was evident.

“I’ve sent out thousands of resumes and have not received a single interview,” he said.

It was clear…Chuck was clearly throwing spaghetti on the wall hoping it stuck using the age old argument of quantity over quality--you know the same methods of cold-callers. And he really thought he was doing his best, with an “at least I tried” kind of mindset.

The point!

Many who are trying to generate interest in their business "Chuck" out links, offers and other content and hope someone calls us or is interested in some way, or even just comments. But are we really looking to connect with others or are we simply taking the easy way out? Sending out links, emails, Facebook posts, Tweets on any content is easy. Sure it took you some time to post, maybe come up with a little headline, etc. However, do you have someone in mind when you post or do you have everyone in mind? Customizing a message, or telling your story to one person or even a group of people takes time and effort.

Most of the time it is simply not enough to just blast content out to the masses because you think you’re spreading a message to everyone hoping to find someone…when in fact you are connecting with no one, and possibly chasing them away (and damaging your reputation/as well as MonaVie’s in the process).

Over the next weeks we’ll post some ways to :

  • Have a social media strategy for YOU
  • Find quality content
  • Tell a story using content
  • Tell YOUR story using social media and other tools

We also invite you to leave your comments here or on MonaVie on Facebook or  MonaVie on Twitter on what has worked for you and your business.

[caption id="attachment_1138" align="alignleft" width="199" caption="Michael Jensen, MonaVie Social Media Promotions Manager"][/caption]

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