When it comes to building community, no one does it better than Liz Strauss over at Successful Blog. She has built an active, vibrant online community. Her latest post, Mind if I Ask Your Network to Help Me Beat Your Car with a Sledgehammer? makes me ask the question, “Is Social Media Marketing in Trouble?”
Social Media Marketing is all about transparency. The thing about transparency is that it’s really hard to manage when it comes to the web. Your customers have always been in charge of “building your brand” and now Web 2.0 brings them the access they need to spread the word about your brand. Talk about transparency – this is why social media marketing is like showing up to a cocktail party naked!
Amy Derby brings up in her comment a way of thinking that is making rounds which goes, “transparency = being just you enough to sell a product. ”
ACK!!! If this is what counts as social media marketing advice, then things are worse than I thought they were!
Liz offers the following nugget of wisdom in her reply to that comment:
everything you do should be a walking talking representation of what your value is. 🙂
THAT MY FRIENDS IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING WISDOM – nicely packaged in 14 well chosen words!
As I read Liz’s post, I kept hearing the following lines from the movie Ghostbusters “playing” in my head. From IMDB:
Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
If you don’t know WHY your customers are buying from you then find out quickly. Here’s a hint, it’s not because you’re constantly trying to strong arm your network and their connections for your latest seminar or money making project.
The reason social media marketing is such a POWERFUL tool (in the right hands) is because it focuses upon the PEOPLE and not the PRODUCTS. In my post, The Human Factor: The Contribution of Common Sense to Marketing,
Um… excuse me but a speaker at an international event has to remind audience members to CONTRIBUTE TO THE FORUMS AND BLOGS BEFORE YOU START RECOMMENDING SPECIFIC CONTENT?!?!
In other words, when you ask the lady out on the first date, don’t extract the condom from your wallet and begin to apply it before she has a chance to accept or decline.
Course example? Yes, but it’s an effective word picture.
I developed that word picture when I discovered that a client of mine was moving through social media sites like a bull in a china shop. I tried several more “subtle” approaches, but it took blunt force trauma to drive the point home. I actually said, “When you show up on a blind date, do you start the conversation wtih backing this stranger into the bedroom? OF COURSE you want to sleep with her – she knows it and you know it. But if you make your move too early, you’re going to end the date and ANY possibility of achieving the action you desire!”
That’s what Social Media Marketing is like. These jerks and jackasses who are running around, flashing everyone in the room are going to ruin it for those of us who are there in the hopes of finding a long term relationship!
Social Media Marketing is a wonderful way for a business that is engaged in making Major Sales to market and promote themselves. Social marketing is ESSENTIAL to the promotion of the Major Sale. However, it’s been said that the global village has MORE than its fair share of idiots – and those idiots are on the verge of ruining social media marketing for the rest of us.