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To Marketers who want to use Social Media

Social Media Marketing Madness Cartoon by HubSpot
Image by HubSpot via Flickr

This got triggered by Dina‘s tweet today, to which I replied.

So here’s a longer thought for all Marketers who are looking at ways to “use” Social Media:

Please don’t try to “use” social media.

For folks like us, it’s a community – where we hang around and collect and have conversations. Some of those conversations could be about the stuff that you want to sell.

If you want to join us and participate as a member of the community – you’re welcome.

However, if all you want to do is only say “Here’s my product, buy it!” like you do in TV commercials – sorry, you’ll turn us off!

Think of social media in an analogy – in the physical world there are parties we go to. Do you go there as someone who likes to party, or as someone with a ‘marketer hat on’ and looking for “prospects”?

If you go as the latter, I am sure you’re not very successful.

We’ve all seen the sorry looking folks at parties who’s looking to buttonhole you with his visiting cards and sales spiel – with a conversation that’s more about “I” and having very few “you”s.

I’m sure you don’t want to be like that person in the party.

So welcome to social media. Join the conversations on Twitter, Facebook or Blogs. But if all you’re going to do is talk about yourself you’re going to bore us out of our skulls.

Update: I read the party analogy somewhere, but don’t remember where. If you blogged about it…do leave a comment!

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Marketing in social media not a success in 2008

Interesting article in Clickz, that says:

creating campaigns for social platforms is hard work that frequently produces marginal results, and upbeat case studies are few and far between.

“Not many marketers have really cracked the code,” said Amy Auerbach, SVP and director of digital at Initiative. “It’s such a utility for Web users.”

Google is one firm whose efforts on social networking sites are “not monetizing as well as expected,” according to previous CFO George Reyes.

Reyes and co-founder Larry Page told investors back in January that the firm has done “lots of experimenting” with social network advertising. Google represents ads on MySpace, its own Orkut service, and numerous other properties.

“We have a huge amount of social networking inventory,” said Page. “It varies quite a bit how well we monetize, based on a number of factors, some of which we understand, some of which we don’t.”

But these breakaway hits are by and large exceptions to the rule. And the rule is this: Marketers can’t easily build awareness on social media sites — not yet anyway.

“Social media is a good data mining tool for sure,” said Auerbach. “Beyond that, in terms of marketing to people while they’re at social media destinations, it’s not as good as we’d hoped.”

It’s true, that when I am interacting socially on Facebook or Orkut with my friends I really don’t want to click on ads. And I also don’t like becoming fans of most brands.