What would happen if we stopped talking about social media as if it were the equivalent of a savings account for your marketing messaging? There are many differences between the dynamics you expect with an ad and those of social media.
Companies may be finding social media applications are useful marketing tools, but are people finding companies on those applications welcome? Chances are they aren't if the mindset is the usual top down, talk at you, push and pull.
Recessions, which are part of the economic engine, tend to bring forth the thrifty in us. Yet, they are the perfect time to take risks, get creative, and invest in the long term health of your business.
One of the clear outcomes from last week's BRITE round tables was that marketers are looking for help. The traditional programs are too expensive and work less and less for fewer and fewer people. Many are thinking about social media in the same ways as they are used to thinking about advertising. Now is the time to get expansive, to think big picture, to change the game.
This means a shift in attitude and a different work plan:
- Talking and writing from the point of view of the customer - not how many "x" you have, but what it means to them
- Telling a story - not a collection of scattered data points that they will have to put together
- Coming out from behind the walls to be yourself - not technical speak or legalese
- Investing the time and attention in learning about what customers want - much more than research, focus groups, etc. real conversations
- Becoming more inquisitive about what your colleagues across the organization see and do - I'm hearing internal alignment often these days
- Approaching every single day and interaction as if it were the defining moment of your business - in many ways, it is
Many recommend a list of to do's like creating a MySpace page, creating a blog, sharing photographs, adding social bookmarking tools to your web site.
It's more about doing things differently and learning about the results than talking about results and doing the same usual things with different tools. You are welcome to complete the title with me: marketing is to social media...