So What’s New?


Social Media… Can Be Worth the Energy

Posted in Uncategorized by pmaurer74 on December 16, 2008
Tags: , ,
This image is from istock photo

This image is from istock photo

Social Networking seems to be a hot topic. I receive daily newsletters from several online marketing organizations and it seems like almost every day there is an article about social networking. “Social Networking, the Next Big New Media”, “Social Networking Marketing is a Flop”. I have read the arguments on both sides and have come to the conclusion that it is worthwhile if you are dedicated to putting in the time and energy to make CONNECTIONS with your consumers, not to sell something to them. What do you mean, don’t sell them anything? It goes against the grain and your guts doesn’t it? The fact is, people go online to chat with their friends and their family through places like MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter, not to buy a new car or try out a buy a new vacuum. As long as marketers keep this in mind, it’s gravy.

Companies seem to want to jump on the marketing bandwagon with social networking sites. Afterall, nearly 75% of internet users use social media platforms including 100 million Facebook users and 1 million Twitter users. A study by SurePayroll found that 55% of small companies think that having an online social presence would be beneficial. However, not all companies would benefit from being on these sites. They need to evaluate their marketing strategy and their online marketing strategy to see if it would work for them.

One of the problems with marketing in the social network arena is that people do not want to have their friends spammed by marketers. A Research firm, IDC published a study that found that 97% of people would not willingly use their friends for advertising purposes. If they found that this was happening, they would have negative feelings towards that brand. Also some of the targeting practices of these platforms can be a bit too targeted, maybe bordering on the invasion of privacy.

So why use social networking? Social marketing is all about interacting with the consumer. Getting to know what the user thinks and feels about your product in a safe environment that the user controls can be priceless. Sure, you may get some bumps and bruises along the way, however, the benefits of that the company can glean from this input is well worth it. Isn’t it valuable to know if your company is doing something wrong so you can fix it? It’s all about branding and image building. Having a Facebook profile, Twitter account and blog isn’t going far enough. Marketers need to reach out to the consumers and interact with them. Marketers also need to give up the urge to advertise to these users and let them have the reigns. Let the users know that there are real people behind the monitors.

Time and effort needs to be put into these types of media. You need someone on board that is into social media and can really draw the user out with their personality and energy. Typing only about company product information on your blog will not win you very many followers, instead, have them tell you about your product, what they would like to see in the future, and how the product can be better.

For more reading on this topic, please check out:

P&G Digital Guru Not SUre Marketers Belong on Facebook by Jack Neff (required AdAge Login)

How to Move From Conversation to Conversion in Social Media, the Communications Platform of the Future by David Kenny and Jack Klues

Social Web Now Mainstream by Brian Morrissey

Social Media Consultants: Snake Oil or Value Add? by Jennifer Laggio

Social Media Consultants: Snake Oil or Value Add? Part 2 by Jennifer Laggio

Growing Businesses ‘Believe Social marketing Has a Role to Play’ by Business Strata

Advertisers Face Hurdles on Social Networking Sites by Randall Stross

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