Drawing the line on social media - a view from the real world | acidlabs
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Drawing the line on social media – a view from the real world

Drawing the line on social media – a view from the real world

My views on social media – its power to connect and bring people closer, to empower participation, to give voice – are well known. Equally well known are my views on using social media as a marketing tool and that I consider many marketing efforts using social media to be shortsighted at best, rarely considering the long view and the value such efforts could bring to brands if only long term strategy rather than short term campaigns were the goal.

I’ve been working with studio Transfer and mediasauce to put together a reel showcasing our views and the views of real people – people who don’t work in or with social media, but simply use it to add something to their lives.

Not especially scientific, we conducted vox pops around Sydney markets over a few weekends (there’s a lot of footage not in the final cut) to see what regular folks thought social media was, how they used it and what credence they gave marketing messages in social media.

What we found out should make the social media marketers give pause.Far from absorbing social media marketing messages, people are connecting with each other, building trust networks, and are quite sophisticated in their use patterns both for business and personal use. As for marketing messages, they care little for deliberate marketing, rather, they turn to those they trust for recommendations.

Take a look.

Stephen Collins
  • Matt Moore
    Posted at 09:29h, 01 September Reply

    Thanks Stephen! The term “social media” is now commonplace but it’s actually unhelpful. Your interviewees don’t experience social software in the same way they experience newspapers or the telly. Should we ban it?

  • Social media in the real world - mUmBRELLA
    Posted at 22:51h, 02 September Reply

    […] Stephen Collins on how consumers really perceive social media […]

  • Des Walsh
    Posted at 08:45h, 03 September Reply

    Picking up on Matt’s observation, I would be interested to know whether there was any warm-up for the interviewees, as in “we’re going to ask you about social media – you know, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc – ok?” or did the interviewer(s) just hit them with the term Matt says is unhelpful?

    As an aside, I was a bit surprised to discover that the “28 comments”(thinks, “wow, Steve should be pleased with that”) was really one actual comment (Matt) and 27 tweets, most of which were really just a comment-free ping. In other words, I thought I had come upon a conversation but found an echo chamber. Knowing how rigorous you are in your thinking and how measured you are in your talk IRL, I’m wondering is running basic “ping” tweets into the comment stream such a good idea, do you think, Steve?

  • Des Walsh
    Posted at 08:46h, 03 September Reply

    PS: coz all those pinging tweets surely belong more in the trackback list than in the comment category, don’t they?

  • Stephen Collins
    Posted at 09:03h, 03 September Reply

    Des – no warmup for the participants. Just approached while at the markets on a Saturday and asked if we could talk to them. Then straight into the questions.

    As for how BackType works, I agree, I rather have them in Trackbacks or (as Chris Brogan does) in a separate section. I have noted this to the BackType folks as I think the count is skewed. I’d rather see Comments, Track/Pingbacks and “online mentions” or some such.

  • Stephen Collins
    Posted at 09:12h, 03 September Reply

    Des – I’ve also just tweaked my BackType settings – straight RTs get ignored now.

  • Graham White
    Posted at 13:39h, 04 September Reply

    Stephen, you reinforce and remind everyone that social media is not a short term, tactical option for marketers. It’s about listening and participating in human interactions that are sustainable and will generate positive word of mouth. If you’re sharing content that others will “care to share” with their networks, you can be successful.

  • Susan Scrupski
    Posted at 12:21h, 05 September Reply

    Really good stuff @trib. Your creativity never fails to delight me. 🙂

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