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?
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
GO TO THE FULL DISCUSSION AT RETAILWIRE.COM:
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