Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Social Media Experts" and Other Hazards

Excerpt, from (in my opinion) a pretty good post:

"Oddly enough, most of the 'social media experts' that write books on the subject (read: get paid to speak, not to actually have ever managed social media for a client) tend to spend most of their tweets sharing quotes and news stories. The celebrities are split into two groups: ones that say really mundane things that we adore like reading People Magazine and the ones that attempt to use it as a platform for social change (yet don't follow anyone back.) Most of the companies on Twitter are talking at you in a way that is basically an advertising bastardization of this social tool. The 'professionals' seem to think that passing along news articles all day long is the sole use of Twitter – and sadly most of them are about 3 hour behind everyone else. The MLM crowds spam you constantly and create one or two fake 'real tweets' between spam to fool people. (Who? I'm not sure.)..."
(Amanda Vega Consulting) [emphasis mine]
My guess is that "MLN" stands for Multi-Level Marketing: Not Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. I suppose it could be Mailing List Manager or Mid-Level Manager, but that doesn't seem too likely. The lesson there is, I think: beware acronyms. You know what you mean, but others may not.

There's more - quite a lot more - in the original post.

The advice - to view (alleged) experts skeptically - is, I think, valid. You'd think that publishing houses wouldn't waste ink, paper, and marketing resources on an inaccurate book: but the fact is that many are more interested in turning a profit, than being helpful. My opinion. And, some editor - or, worse, manager - may think that the wannabe expert is the hottest thing since Aaron Montgomery Ward decided to mail a catalog to prospects. (Why 'or worse'? Managers can do more damage to their companies than editors. My opinion.)

I think the author was on the right track, characterizing online communities as being " an electronic high school...." The point that so many marketing 'experts' seem to miss is that people in online communities are - people. Some of us seem to have had our last contact with Homo sapiens sapiens in the mid-to-late teens, with high school as the major social experience.

Think about it. Think about it. You're trying to convince people that they'd be interested in a product or service of yours. And, that you're in high school. Standing in the hall, or in the lunch room.

How effective would it be - in the long run - if you kept shouting things like "I made eight thousand dollars in the last eight minutes!!!!" or "Cleaner!! Meaner!! Cuts Grease!!!" - - - You get the idea.

Or, if you're an "expert," you don't.

Spelling it out: online communities are communities. They're made up of people, not targets for marketing. If you throw advertising slogans at them, likely enough they'll tune you out - promptly, and maybe permanently.

That kind of 'marketing strategy' you don't need.

Sort-of-related posts about marketing:More:
A tip of the hat to Twitter_Tips, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this post.

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