Thursday, July 5, 2012

Social Marketing: Tech Changes; People, Not So Much

With two decades of experience in marketing, I can safely say: I'm not an expert.

I'm some guy who writes fairly well, understands how language works, and knows better than to overstate something's value. Or, in this case, someone's.

Expert My Opinions About Marketing and Social Media

I've read articles and heard folks complain about teenagers' lack of connection with each other: how they never have 'real' conversations. 'The youth,' anguished authors assured readers, would never learn to deal with the real world: because their social contacts were mostly conducted through a sterile, artificial technology.

This was the '60s: and the terrifying tech was the telephone.

Today, it's chat rooms, blogs, and whatever the latest wrinkle in social media is called.

The point, for someone who wants to use social media as a marketing tool, is that 'social media' is like the air in a room, or ink on paper, or a telephone line. It's the medium people use to communicate with each other. Media have changed: quite a bit, in the last half-century.

People using media? I haven't noticed all that much difference.

Sure, there's some change:
  • Clothing worn to important meetings
    • Togas Powdered wigs are out
    • Business suits are in
      • Or 'business casual
  • Hiring practices
      'Irish need not apply' is out
    • Hiring based on competence is in
      • Theoretically, at least
But people; what they like, and don't like; and how they react: that, in my experience, hasn't changed. Not the essentials.

Here's an ultra-condensed set of guidelines for successful marketing with social media that I ran into a few years back:
  1. Make it personal
  2. Keep it real
  3. Don't be afraid of opinion
  4. Focus on interactions, not followers and fans
  5. Keep the distribution of traditional marketing messages to a minimum
    (from Patricio Robles)
    (micro-reviewed May 29, 2010)
I think all five are common-sense guides for interacting with folks in any setting. Even the fourth point, that discussed "followers" and "fans" in the context of social media, reminded me of an gag: about some fabulously 'popular' VIP/diva/whatever, who invited "a few hundred of her close personal friends."

Back to Work - - -

I ran across my micro-review of Patricio Robles' article while doing re-educating myself about online marketing. I was modestly up to speed with current technology: six years ago.

Back then we only had wood-burning computers, so I've got a lot of catching up to do.

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