Marketing and social media - get over it! | acidlabs
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Marketing and social media – get over it!

Marketing and social media – get over it!

You’d think after all this time that this stuff would have gone away…

I’ve worked in online comms and social media since before either of them had names. Articles like this bore me to tears; so many people still seem to think that marketing is the logical apex of what social tools can be used for as they spout about which “channel” will get you the best “ROI” and “measuring value”. Think about what we’re calling these things… Social. It implies humanness and connection, not selling your brand to the masses.

Forget about all of it in your business’s online presence! Social tools are not now and nor will they ever be the answer. Or even a tiny part of the picture.

In your business, do good work. Be professional and over-deliver. Don’t constantly tweet rubbish or post low-value annoyances to Facebook and especially don’t fill people’s already over-full inboxes with more email; they’ll just delete it unread.

Rather, build and be a real part of the community and connect to people for real, human reasons (with a little of the inanity tossed in to show there are real people behind the facade).

Frankly, if you have to work particularly hard to market your business at all, there’s too much competition and you’re under-performing.

Marketing and sales are probably the two least interesting, low value things you can use social tools for.

Stephen Collins
  • Sarah Mitchell
    Posted at 19:16h, 21 June Reply

    Hi Stephen,

    I agree with your assessment of the article you mentioned. It smacks of someone spinning their wheels trying to game the system. I don’t get too worried about those articles because it’s obvious to a true social media practitioner the guy just doesn’t get it.

    I do think, however, social media activity is highly beneficial to business, especially small business. Where people go wrong is when they forget people buy from people they like and respect – not companies with a strong broadcast signal.

    I’m in full support of the human condition being thrown into the social media mix. I do think it’s best to avoid inanity as much as possible though. As in face-to-face relationships, people tend to lose interest when there’s too much nonsense.

    I enjoyed your rant and look forward to more in the future.

  • Benjamin
    Posted at 00:19h, 23 June Reply

    Disagree with this. Social tools include social analytics, or should do!! If you don’t have insight into how your brand/product/company is being discussed socially, you can’t market it effectively through the traditional channels of print/video/audio mediums. To advise against the usefulness of social tools in sales and marketing functions is cause to lose out to competitors that do use such tooling.

    • Stephen Collins
      Posted at 06:03h, 23 June Reply

      Benjamin, you’re right in many aspects. And I’ve advised clients as such often. My point really is that marketing and PR are, as I note in the last sentence, two of the least interesting, least world-changing things one can do with social tools.

      Thanks for your words.

  • Ralf Lippold
    Posted at 22:17h, 23 June Reply

    Thanks a lot Stephen for making the point. Social is growing the personal connection within your crowd – which can take a while and lots of small conversations. Sticking however to your authenticity and truthfulness will -in the end- pay off.

    First and most it is the person (and not the data) that counts. In direct conversation (can be online of course) there is so much more richness in understanding the customer’s thinking, behavior, and wishes.

    Let’s see the social tools just as another era when people got together in the coffee house or in the middle of the village to talk things over, initiated business connections, and drew the connections.

    Only in these past days the past of distance in time and place was small, the web and its social tools, which now can be used at a finger tip connect us from Dresden, Germany, to Australia in a split of a second. Trust can be created without even meeting at first. Why then I ask myself do have to listen to the push messages of marketing companies and folks who think as the “early” adopters of the new age possibilities they have the power to rule?

    Thanks again Stephen for making the point (which actually came up on the sideline of my own blog – a nice kind of serendipity :-)).

  • Craig Thomler
    Posted at 15:11h, 26 June Reply

    I agree entirely Steve.

    It constantly worries me that senior people in the public and private sector get taken in by this type of article and would-be social media experts (such as at some advertising agencies).



  • Salman
    Posted at 14:54h, 15 July Reply

    You are Right Stephen thanks for sharing this useful information. Social media and bunch of marketing help to grow quick but it can’t help you to stay ahead long time.Its require more time,efforts and your professional thoughts.

  • Dan Thornton
    Posted at 04:39h, 02 August Reply

    Is this not just the common misunderstanding of what marketing actually is?

    Marketing isn’t about just pumping out content to social networks.

    Marketing is supposed to be about determining what products or services are actually of interest to customers, and working out how that strategy applies to business development, sales, and consumer communication, along with building customer relationships.

    Considering the size and impact of global companies to our lives, I’m not sure that using social tools to make significant changes to the products and services they offer isn’t something pretty interesting?

    For instance, rather than just commenting on a change to the company colourscheme, what about a movement which is currently trying to lower the cost of distributing medecine and drugs to less-developed countries by packaging and sending them alongside consumer products? That’s a pretty worthwhile endeavour, and one which their marketing departments should be responsible for looking at, evaluating, and hopefully implementing.

    • Stephen Collins
      Posted at 08:58h, 02 August Reply

      Dan, you’re fairly dead-on. Old school “selling widgets” marketing was a failure before social media and still is. Everything need to be tied to overall business strategy.

  • Ari Herzog
    Posted at 01:55h, 03 August Reply

    Amen, Stephen, Amen.

    Not only is marketing/sales uninteresting in social media, it’s cliche and too buzzwordy. When will companies focus less on the marketing side and more on the, oh, human resources or supply chain management side?

  • Scot Paddingville
    Posted at 12:05h, 24 November Reply

    i don’t really agree as social media can definitely benefit online marketing because it will increase your traffic that will help get you more leads and sales..

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