The Social Media Marketing Test

Ouch! Graeme Newell has again delivered a much-needed jab to the midsection.  If you contribute to your station’s social media efforts, at any level, you need to read Graeme’s new blog post The Social Media Marketing Test.  He points out what I’ve been telling partners and clients for months: Social Media is not a new promotion or ad platform. It is a relationship and all the rules of relationships apply.  Give freely, don’t dominate the conversation, Listen to what is being said back,  don’t rush the conversation.

outside the boxNewell writes: I often think that social media marketing has become an oxymoron.  Why?  Because so many companies try to gain entry into this new medium using the outdated tactics of traditional marketing.  Do you have a measurable goal for social media that goes beyond the mass-marketing mindset of “get more followers and make more sales?”

I have seen so many social media campaigns go wildly off course when they are executed using this Madison Avenue mindset.  Social media is not just another form of advertising.  We treat it like a monologue, when it is actually a dialogue.  Social media really is a new form of communication, not just another medium to be included in a traditional marketing plan.

For those of us who grew up in the traditional advertising world, we just can’t help ourselves.   We know that social media is two-way personal interaction, but we still tend to fall back to practiced one-way communication.  In the old ad world, copy space was scarce, and messages were short with succinct calls to action.  It was a world guided by the need to quickly bang the drum and get attention.

The true power of social media is its ability to persuade by socializing, not advertising.  It has a longer selling cycle. This more leisurely pace often chafes the hurried corporate agenda.  Impatience is its most beguiling temptation and most ruinous attribute.  Social media does not tolerate commercial exploitation and over-the-top selling. Yet, a casual read through many company social media pages quickly reveals a disingenuous, transparent selling agenda.  No one wants to be friends with a salesman working a crowd.

Successful social media campaigns have a deeper purpose and are all about human interaction.  Zappos uses it to showcase great customer service.  Ford & Molson use it put a human face on an impersonal company brand.  Dell uses it to battle a perception of bad customers service.

Put your social media posts to the test.  Evaluate your fan page.  These telltale signs show customers they are a sales mark to be harvested, not a friend to be wooed.

Take the Social Media Marketing Test

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