When I see articles like the one displayed here questioning the vitality of Social Networks as a viable marketing channel I laugh. And not just a giggle either, it is a full on belly laugh – all the way to the bank. Social networks are “social” places. Traditional advertising and cut and paste print advertising does not work and has no place in them. Attempting to use these methods to reach consumers is on par with placing a square peg in a round hole. The term Behavioural Targeting gives me another giggle. Huge amounts on money, brain power and industry effort is put into this exercise. It is the real world equivalent of a dog chasing a car or a moth drawn to a flame. But being the moth is never the same as being the flame. So behavioural targeting will always be a less effective strategy than being the flame or being interesting.
Changing from Advertising to interesting is the only way to fully reach your consumer market in Social Network spaces. Move your content from the side of the page, banner ads, to rich and engaging content in the middle of the page. Not only is it inline with what people expect to see in Social Network spaces but, unlike banner ads, its placement is free. What does this mean? Simply become a content provider that interacts with consumers as they would with each other and do it honestly.
Some easy steps to becoming interesting
- Think of yourself as a personality not a product
- Create content that engages consumers (e.g. ask a question)
- Follow up – one time placement is not much different than spam
- Is it something you would send to your friends?
- Evolve over time, that is reveal more and different aspects of yourself
- Value the relationships you build with consumers