Archive for May, 2010

Social Marketing Is & Isn’t

May 25th, 2010

Social marketing is an “effective way to build relationships over Social Media”

  • Effective – Defined as cost effective, efficient, focused, specific, works
  • Relationships – Defined as having both recognized value and emotional connection
  • Social Media – platform independent; not just LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, but the right platform to support the right interaction

 Social Marketing is not…

  • Just Another Channel – old form over new medium hasn’t worked with the transition from print or TV to internet, why wouldn’t a new form of interaction require new rules?
  • Just about Creative Branding – How many cool TV ads where you can’t remember the company afterwards. Creative just creates awareness, but not necessarily leads to a buying relationship.
  • Build “It & They Will Come” – Despite your brilliance, you still have to build a relationship to the community (credibility) and you have to actively promote your solution(evangelize)
  • Magic Relationship Bullet – just because I connect to you doesn’t mean we are friends, or even acquaintances. Hell, I don’t even know you…. Etiquette rules still apply.
  • SPAM me into a Relationship – “No matter how many times you send it (awareness), I don’t care (interest), don’t want it (relevance), won’t buy it (relationship).”

 Social Media (Marketing) is about having a presence, Social Marketing is about having a purpose….

10 Ways Marketers Quickly Kill Online Social Relationships

May 25th, 2010
  1. Invite me to your local social networking events that are completely across town & send me a different invite every day
  2. Invite me to Mafia Wars, Farmville, Star Wars, and any number of games on Facebook. If you are the 428th person to invite me, what makes you think I will join now. For the record, I am not an online sim type game player, I am a news junkie (business and politics), send me that stuff. Better yet, ask me what I am interested in…
  3. Just because we are connected on a social network does not make us friends. Not sure that even classifies as acquaintances. Etiquette rules still apply.
  4. No matter how many times you spam me with your special of the week or forwarded tweet, I will not think better of you.
  5. I delete canned spam messages in my inbox from people that I don’t know or don’t recognize. I can’t keep up, gave up. Even if from social media sites…
  6. No, I won’t connect to you on Facebook if you send me a cold introduction from countries that are possible sources of terrorists or identify theft suspect.
  7. Inviting me to the “latest” social media platform from a canned system generated email is so 2005.
  8. Not having a clear way to delete my profile from said type platforms is even worse
  9. Just because you have 200,000 fans on your corporate facebook page does not mean that your customer service has improved.
  10. No, I don’t generally connect to corporate twitter accounts unless I have a real reason to connect. Even if I do, doesn’t mean that I am a loyal customer.

I will throw in some freebies – No matter how many emails your email marketing system sends me, I will NEVER have a relationship with the system. You may be able to catch my interest, you may be able to even get me to buy something, but we will never have a relationship. Relationships involve emotions, systems involve information and data. See the disconnect?

The challenge is that many organizations have lost sight of the fact that, although they have tons of customers, even tens of millions, buyer behavior has to involve both emotion and intellect. Creative marketing does not create passionate buyers. Just because Apple or Google creates great ads does not mean that I will run out and buy the product. You need great product; you need some compelling value proposition beyond just a presence or brand recall. How are you going to rise above the noise?

You ever see an ad campaign that was started 10 years ago and was a hit that is so now over-done that you pray that it dies a slow death? You wish you could just reach out to the VP of Marketing and the AD team and beg them to try something different. A couple of keys there… Despite recall there is negative brand equity and an extreme desire to talk to someone to explain what they are doing wrong in alienating the market. Faceless corporate entity that has stopped listening and focused on “branding”.

Just because you create a great Facebook page does not mean that fans will flock to your site and you will be written up in the Marketer’s Hall of Fame. Not that I am sure there is even one to begin one… How does Facebook posts tie back to brand strategy let alone revenue or corporate objectives. You may have a plan, but if it isn’t evident, it isn’t working…. And don’t get me started on how Twitter isn’t a marketing strategy…. … or that it isn’t a plan if I can’t read it…

Remember Fields of Dreams – “Build it and they will come….” – the real miracle isn’t that they had ghost players in the field, but rather that they built a baseball field in the middle of Iowa and people showed up, even after compelling visions…

It is like going to a Consumer Electronics Show -like tradeshow (125,000 attendees and 1000+ booths) and you have a 10X10 booth in the back. How are you going to get people to come to your booth? If you try the tried and true approach of branded shaped squeeze toys like you neighbor selling electronic, remote control dogs over there, you might as well go home. You don’t have the budget to hire Aerosmith to rock out in your booth, and you don’t have a bevy of massage tables to give free massages. How are you going to get attention and build sufficient traffic to get your percentage?

The reality is that social media is a tradeshow or conference in the sky. Human nature is human nature online or offline, it is the same. Rules of engagement and extent of connection are different, but the core interactions and motivations are the same.

You have to establish relationship, understand motivations, build momentum, give value before asking, establish trust, support their buying process, and be relevant to their needs. Oh, and make sure that you are high enough on their priority list so they pay attention. The rest is about etiquette, influence, and value….