Social Network Ignorance

DISCUSSION TOPIC:  Marketers Don’t Get Social Networks


Social networks are all about relationship building. Yet marketers are continuing to use mainstream advertising ploys – including hammering home messages – in targeting the medium rather than just having conversations.

“Frequency of message is not the idea here,” Rick Murray, president of Edelman digital, told Advertising Age. “Frequency of contact is.”

Charlene Li, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, agreed that marketers haven’t seemed to figure out that this is a channel where consumers actually want to be spoken to.

“[Consumers] are asking questions on these sites that go unanswered,” she said. “You can’t ask for a better environment. And what do marketers do? They say nothing and put up another ad.”

Discussion questions:  What’s the difference between mainstream marketing techniques and efforts targeting MySpace and other social networking sites? How should mainstream advertising be tweaked to work on social networking sites?

My post:

Few retailers or brands have taken the time to research how to best use the social networks for marketing efforts.  Therefore, most efforts have been to slam their regular mainstream marketing onto these sites – a huge mistake.  Retailers and brands would do well to research the many quality “how-to” sites for social networking entrepreneurs. These sites provide excellent lessons on how to write compelling content for blogs, social networks, etc.  Key points:

  • Remember: These are conversations not ads. Talk, engage, but don’t sell.
  • Who will do the postings on blogs, MySpace, etc.? They must speak with an authentic voice, aligned with the company’s voice.
  • Can you commit to regular updates? If not, don’t start.
  • Have you prepared for the inevitable complaints and bad comments about your brand/product?
  • Give stuff away. The way you gain trust with your audience and get them to buy your product eventually is to prove that your stuff is worthwhile. This method is used to great advantage in information marketing and should be utilized in product marketing.
  • Test, test, test, and test some more. This medium is continuously evolving and the best are always looking to tweak their approach.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist



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4 Responses to Social Network Ignorance

  1. MaryPat says:

    Thank you for educating people about this topic! It is so frustrating to watch good people screw up their image by using social media the wrong way! it is so important to remember you are building relationships, first and foremost, because people do business with people they know, like and trust. So basic and yet disregarded all the time!

  2. Krista says:

    Transparancy and authenticity are the hallmarks of good social networking. Thinly veiled sales efforts will fall flat and leave a sour taste in the mouths of a ready audience.

  3. Mike Osorio says:

    As I speak to retailers and retail groups, the questions on whether to use social networks and how to use social networks come up again and again. There is a real desire on their part to learn, but little time to do so. So they tend to revert to what they know: applying print and TV marketing to social networks. I am hopeful that all our efforts in educating retailers and others will create a change!

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