Putting the “Social” back in Social Media

Social media has altered the relationship that has existed between companies and consumers since the advent of modern advertising.  Gone are the days of speaking “at” potential customers. Dialogue has replaced monologue and narrowcasting is replacing broadcasting online.

This shift creates great opportunities for businesses – but like any change, it has been difficult for some to adapt to.  Perhaps this is ironic when we consider that for most of human history, interaction between producer and consumer has been a social affair.  Initially it was technology that made it possible to target the many instead of the few – via newspapers, radio, and then television.  These platforms greatly increased reach – but eliminated the individual interactions. Now technology lets us to both at once: reach the many and interact with them.

Unfortunately for many companies embracing social networking – the monologue & broadcast mentality has become ingrained in the culture of marketing . Instead of doing what should come naturally (interacting with other people) there is a lingering focus on “remaining on message” in many social media marketing campaigns.

The trick is to envision your Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube presence as a virtual countertop between yourself and your customers .  On one side stands your company and its message, brand, products, and services; on the other side stands a potential customer.  Would you expect to be successful by assailing the potential customer with a barrage of bullet-points and brand messages?   Would you expect the customer – who has the option to interact with thousands of other companies at the click of a button  — to remain in front of you while you continue your pre-programmed, on-point, litany ?   Sounds like a losing proposition, doesn’t it?

While other formats continue to provide a viable place for your “broadcast” messages  – social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, etc… are not a viable home for this technique.  Your potential customers will tune you out and your carefully crafted message will end up as noise.  Of course,  interaction alone won’t lead to real results for your business either. A Houston social media marketing company can help you craft an effective strategy for remaining focused on your company’s strategy and goals while being effectively social at the same time.

Questions or comments? Leave a comment here — find me on Twitter @SMMJenn, learn more about me, or email me at jenn@newnectar.com

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