Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Social Media Marketing is hard!

I was at a dinner last night with a couple of persons I have only recently met. Some were clients that had engaged my company in their first social media campaign and others were social media entrepreneurs I had invited to share thoughts and ideas.

The dinner was wonderful, the people lovely, and the conversation stimulating. The discussion centred around how different marketing in the social network spaces was from traditional marketing. Of course, there are those taking the short cut with display advertising, but that is not social marketing, it is just old school advertising and is not appropriate for social networks. It is like having an insurance salesman at your wedding reception - just not a good fit.

As we went around the table, there was a chorus of agreement on the 3 tenants of TRUE social marketing:

  1. It is hard work. Yes it is, there are no shortcuts to social marketing. It is about making friends the old fashioned like in the real world. Engage in meaningful conversations, be interested in the ideas of others, be consistent and available.

  2. Honesty not advertising. Any attempt to pass off advertising or to come across as insincere will result in immediate and long term repercussions

  3. It takes time. Like in the real world, building up a network of friends takes time and commitment. There are no short cuts to building long term relationships

So in the long run the lesson is simple. To truly participate in Social Spaces you must remember that you are engaging people on the individual level not on mass.

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