Social Media Marketing: Are your customers Mac or PCs?

14 Jun

I'm a Mac, I'm a PCBackstory — I attended a professional services marketing conference the other day.  After the conference, I ended up sitting around the bar with some other marketing people until about one in the morning… talking about social media marketing strategies for professional services, specifically how to reach out to customers where they live. Yep, I live on the wild side.

We had heard a lot that day about how you can leverage new technologies and social media marketing in your efforts to connect with potential clients. We talked about QR codes and phone scanners, about mobile websites and custom apps. About always being on the cutting edge of technology. One of the presenters said something about telling your customers that you’re ahead of the curve – saying something like “Explain to them that if your services were like technologies, first there was the telegraph, then the TV, then the computer, then the iPhone, then the iPad 1 and 2. Our services are so advanced; they’re like the iPad 3.”

That analogy’s all well and good for customers that are into technology, but some of our customers are Amish. If we told them that in a sales pitch or printed something similar in a marketing piece, they’d probably look at us like we were crazy.  And they probably wouldn’t know what an iPad is, or have any presence on (or interest in) social media, anyway.

MAC and PC laptops, nerd and pretty boy, stereotypesLong story short, the conversation got around to this: if your customer’s a PC and you’re a Mac, what’s the point in showing off your technological know-how? (Will they be impressed by your social media marketing?  Will they even know that you’re doing it?)  Should you be pushing them to the next level of social media and technology (probably good for their business) or reaching out to them on their level (on which they’ll probably feel comfortable)?

We didn’t get to a real answer. But, I’ve given it some thought these last few days, and here’s where I’ve ended up. As a professional services marketer, you definitely don’t want to be behind your customers’ use of social media – then they might think you don’t “get it”. But, you also don’t want to be too far ahead of them – then you might make them feel like they don’t “get it” — and no one wants to feel that they don’t “get it”. So, maybe you should aim to be one or two generations of technology and social media ahead of your customers. After all, you want them to be able to find you when they search for you on whatever platform/technology their using. For example, at this point, not being on LinkedIn is not a good thing for someone that provides professional services.  Not having a presence on your customer’s go-to platform of choice is clearly a path to losing the social media marketing game. This means that you’ve got to be there before they do.  So, whatever the technology, you’ve got to be there.  Your professional services firm has got to have a presence.  But presence isn’t enough.  It also has to be good.

Apps going into iPhoneSo, I’m going to work on keeping us (that’s Rea & Associates, for those of you who are keeping track) ahead of the social media marketing curve. But only slightly. Somehow I don’t think that the Amish are going to appreciate QR codes…

Question of the day: Where do you fall in the Mac vs. PC debate?  Are you a Mac or a PC? (No judgment either way. I’m typing this on a PC with an iPad sitting a few feet away.) 

In other news, I feel like I may have actually arrived as a blogger. This morning I was contacted by an author’s agent asking if they could send me a copy of his book about social media to review. 

MaggieCakes is a blog about culture, social media, and what’s new on the Internet culture. Every day (okay, I try for every day) I comb blogs and news outlets for the news about Internet culture and social media to bring them to you (with my commentary, of course) here on MaggieCakes. MaggieCakes is hosted by WordPress and often draws upon Slate, Jezebel, The Hair Pin, and SocialTimes for links and inspiration. My post Social Media and the Art of Storytelling was featured on Freshly Pressed, bringing a whole new readership to my blog. Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

3 Responses to “Social Media Marketing: Are your customers Mac or PCs?”

  1. Erin June 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Like you, I’m a pc — as I type this post on my iPhone…

  2. Rolie R July 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I am a PC, always been a PC and probably always will be. I need to know how my tools/toys work and not just have something with one button. But on the other hand, i do understand the need to others to be in the Mac world.

    • Maggie O'Toole July 31, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      That’s a very good way of putting it. I love to be able to take things apart and add component to my computer. But, one of my sisters isn’t interested at all. She doesn’t want to see her processes or know about CPU usage. She got a MacBook when she went to college and loves it. Of course, I find using it immensely frustrating.

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