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Chris Brogan posted an interesting commentary on offering recipes to your buyers, on the premise that people would be happier to buy from you if you offered serving suggestions rather than just a pile of ingredients. Go read it.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

It’s a good start, but imagine this was the menu being served for dinner:

  • Strawberry shortcake with garlic butter sauce
  • Aged cheddar and crab dip
  • Nilla wafer truffle
  • Sashimi bi bim bab with chocolate fondue

Even if each recipe was cooked by a master chef, even if each recipe was an award-winning masterpiece, there’s a good chance you’re going to be really unhappy at the end of the meal, if you even last that long.

Absolutely, your guests will be happier if you give them recipes and dishes rather than piles of ingredients (unless you’re at a do-it-yourself hibachi restaurant). They’ll be even happier if they’re paired and matched well, set in a context of courses of a meal – in other words, have a strategy to what you serve them.

One of the biggest problems in social media and marketing right now is an abundance of recipes with no context, no strategy at all. Take a look at any blog, any Twitter feed, any personality’s list of recent content and there’s a good chance you’ll see piles of recipes:

  • 5 tips for doing stuff with Twitter
  • 8 great ways to do other stuff with Facebook
  • 22 things you’re doing wrong with Foursquare
  • 971 ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn
  • 16,451 lists to blog about just like this one

These recipes are entirely without context, without a menu, without a strategy or structure that will help them blend with each other and make a coherent meal. Just like the culinary world, mixing and matching with no greater sense of what fits with what in your marketing and social media will likely give you a stomachache.

How do you remedy this? Learn to use a cookbook. Learn what recipes go with which courses, and then appropriately plan your meals so that you’re not randomly stacking recipes with each other. Have a framework. Have a map. Have a playbook. Your customers will be far more satisfied and you’ll have a much easier time planning your marketing meals.

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