febrero 01, 2013


Which One is Social Media?   BOTH 

A recent post by @jimdougherty titled "Why Social Media Marketing Isn't a Long Game" caught my attention briefly. It discussed a FORBES piece titled “The TruthAbout Social Media”, and ended asking: “Is Social Media Marketing a “long game” or are social goals more accessible than this?” Let me share my 5 cents on the matter.

In my opinion, the real question should read: Is Marketing (stripped off additional tags) a “long game”? If your answer to this question is yes, then you should treat SMM likewise.

Marketing has always been about a search to communicate ideas, a struggle for differentiation, a contest  to influence and resonate on people’s minds. Even when you use marketing to promote a short term objective, there is always a residual message embedded.

Social Media is a different channel to spread your message, a powerful one. One that tears apart the very fabrics of old fashion marketing practices for 2 main reasons:

1.-  It levels the plainfield empowering the consumer’s influence on his or her community.  The voice of an individual is not yet balanced with that of a company, but it is now at heights that enable it to speak up louder, and ears are listening.  Push and Pull strategies are losing ground to Participate and Embrace. The long run opportunities of this situation bewilder anyone’s imagination.

2.- It goes beyond the realms of other media because it is mainly about sharing. To Share to entertain, to gain recognition, to build a reputation or just for the heck of it. While with other media users engaged to mainly receive, anyone who engages in Social Media, joined either to share, receive what someone else is sharing... or both.   The power of Social media is the power of Sharing.

In conclusion, Social Media Marketing  requires a special understanding, different than traditional Media marketing, but, if you decide to include Social media as part of your Marketing efforts, then you should visualize it the same way you feel about Marketing as a whole. Whether it is a long run or a short one would depend on your perception about marketing itself.

9 comentarios:

  1. Gracias, Aurelio! I appreciate being mentioned in such a thoughtful piece. A really great post. The point I tried to make in my post wasn't that a long-term investment in social media was unsound, but rather that the advice that a yield will come years in the future is unsound. For instance, I suspect that most businesses don't understand that less than 15% of their fans will see an impression of their content, and less than 1% will interact with it. In order to get just 10 people's attention, a business has to have 1000 fans. So, despite the idealism of the "long game" that many people project on social media - it is inherently inefficient. Vehicles such as paid search and email have been shown to be more effective means of driving business than social media channels, so the decision to focus on social media at the peril of more effective channels will likely yield less in the long term. I share your feelings about social media channels being a very special way to connect with other people, but I haven't seen evidence that the unique attributes of these networks are effective in the long or short term for most businesses. Great piece and wonderful articulation of promise of social! Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the comment. This humble and very young blog feels proud to have you as its first ever commentator.

    Social Media does not guarantee future yields, in fact, it presents some serious perils and it can do much harm if mismanaged.

    When I do not see real understanding of the Social Media Environment within the marketing department, I often advise companies not to engage, but rather use SMM as a research tool, gather info to monitor industry trends and, if they feel bold enough, endorse influencers’ opinions/content.

    There is not that much of yield because most companies are either clueless or trying circus acrobatics while on the learning curve.

    For example: there seems to be a zombie like epidemic towards content marketing, a need to senselessly feed the beast, and do so virally. Companies moving like zombies: very determined with eating flesh urges, but tumbling around erratically. Sometimes they succeed, but it is not the most effective of strategies :D

    This epidemic only adds noise to an already very noisy scenery. And then, to make things worse, you have those who apparently believe that the best way to emerge from that noise is to shout louder (?). Zombies grunting all over the place.

    Social media is so new that some chose an inexplicable abandonment of old fashion marketing practices under the fear of being perceived as lacking hypsterness (if such a word exists)…

    These are messy but yet very exciting times.

    However, you are right, there are tools that, as of today, have sound proven grounds for ROI, while SMM is still the challenger contender. However, we’ll have a generation of adults who were born and are being raised within social media. People that will find uses for it that are scifi for us now. An entire generation using their email accounts just to establish and recover passwords to their Social Networks. If you don’t follow this Gen’s evolution now, it will be difficult to market to them later. That’s the real ROI of participating in Social Media Today… and that’s a long game deal.

    Thanks again for your visit.

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