At the recent 140 Twitter Conference, I sparked a bit of controversy on the branding panel that I participated on: I brought up a point that reminds me of the line in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross “ABC, always be closing” and I framed it as “ABM = always be marketing” and “always be me.”
I was fascinated to see the polarized responses from the audience, Twitterverse and one of my fellow panelists. (I’m a big fan of expressing opinions, but it’s not my style to polarize! Oh well!)
To me, Always Be Marketing means that I am extremely mindful and strategic about everything I do online and in public. For example, turquoise and bling is my signature branding color/look/feel – so that’s what I present in public. (Eight percent of my wardrobe is a shade of blue!) And, my persona is upbeat, open, caring, genuine and always helpful, always willing to answer questions particularly about Facebook. This is all part of my brand.
In fact, the greatest compliment I receive is when people meet me in person and say I’m exactly like they thought I would be from how I am online.
With social media so prevalent we are all EXTREMELY visible. Your prospective clients, your peers and your competition can drill as deep as they wish searching, reading and gathering information online about you and posted by you without you ever knowing who’s searching. Depending on what they find, your prospects may choose to do business with you or not.
Being mindful and in “ABM” mode helps with reputation management. To me, ABM means you’re never careless about what you put out there. You see the longevity of everything that’s published. (For the best book on reputation management see, Radically Transparent by Andy Beal and Judy Strauss).
To some folks, the word “marketing” has negative connotations. It’s a word often misinterpreted as meaning “hocking your wares,” “pushing” and being like a used car salesman. That’s unfortunate. There’s a big difference between ABP: always be pushing and ABM: always be marketing!
I unfollow the “ABP” types on Twitter and unfriend or even block them on Facebook. I’m all about connecting and building relationships… and yes, there’s strategy to all that too. What may seem as idle chit-chat on Twitter is 100% visible to the whole world on Twitter. It’s important to always do your best, because you just never know who is watching you.
Perhaps some folks have negative feelings associated with the movie, Glengarry Glen Ross – it’s an intense movie and the question of ethics and integrity in sales is a theme running throughout the film. I certainly would never recommend doing “whatever it takes” to market. It has to be genuine, positive and contribute to your community. Like I say, the ABM also means “always be me” (or, for me, “always be Mari!”
In fact, here’s a couple of my fave nuggets from the #140tc:
What are your thoughts? What does ABM mean to you? Do you consider yourself to be in “marketing mode” at all times – or is it something you turn on and off? Do you apply a special formula to your tweeting style with x% personal and x% business? Is there a clear line between the two, or are you like me and completely blend your social media personal/professional style because you know ultimately people are buying YOU first?! I’d love to hear from you – add your thoughts in the comments below: