Ever heard that famous saying by Bobby Unser about success? You know the one: “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
No surprise, Unser was right. But so many businesses only focus on one half of that success equation.
They’re either so focused on opportunity that they aren’t prepared when they find it, or they spend so much time preparing that they miss opportunities … then wonder why they aren’t successful.
Here’s the thing: You can’t do half the work and expect the full results.
What does that look like in the business world? Take a look at social media marketing. Most businesses suck at it because they don’t practice both preparation and opportunity.
Social media success is more than posting blog links and product advertisements. It takes active preparation, execution, and a little luck.
Let me give you an example:
Here’s the story of how Close.io used preparation, opportunity, and a bit of luck to generate $585 monthly recurring revenue with an 81-character tweet.
It was 2014 and RelateIQ, one of our competitors at the time, had just announced it would be acquired by Salesforce. As a result, a number of their international accounts were cancelled and users were suddenly without a CRM.
Recognizing this for the opportunity it was, we began watching Twitter discussions for disgruntled RelateIQ customers. It wasn’t long before we found what we were looking for.
It was August 29th and our lead engineer, Phil Freo, was making the usual Twitter rounds when he stumbled across this tweet from Scrapinghub co-founder Pablo Hoffman:
Recognizing the opportunity for what it was, Phil reached out and let Pablo know that Close.io was, “happily supporting international customers.” That was all it took; eleven days later, Pablo and his team signed up for our free trial.
Within a month of their trial, Scrapinghub signed a $455/mo contract with Close.io. A few weeks later, they’d been so successful with our sales CRM that they upgraded their account and were now on a $585/mo contract.
For those not keeping score, that’s $585 monthly recurring revenue; all because of an 81-character tweet.
Stop talking, start listening
So what does all this mean for you?
Simple: Social media success isn’t about talking, it’s about listening.
It’s about knowing where your audience is and what matters to them, then meeting them on their level. And more importantly, it’s about connecting with individuals, not the market.
The truth is, when you’re not talking to anyone in particular, no one in particular is listening.
Do you think we’d have closed that account if Phil would have posted that tweet on his wall, rather than reaching out to Pablo directly? Probably not.
It doesn’t always take a full-time social media manager, big budget, or thousands of status updates. Sometimes all you need is the right person listening to the right people at the right time.
So what about you? Do you know your market? How about the individuals in your market? Do you know what they care about? What frustrates them? Excites them? Connects with them?
What they’re saying will always be more important than what you’re saying, stop talking and start listening.
Then get out there and crush it.