Friday, 11 May 2012

Is Social Media Marketing Coming to an End?

Now, that’s a very good question.  A retailer of mine who wasn’t fully invested in social media marketing has read that a number of large retail chains are backing down from using social media to develop their brand.  The primary justification I heard was that negative impressions can go viral just as easily as positive ones.

Here’s the problem with that logic.  Your social media marketing has as much chance to go “viral” as I have of winning Canadian Idol.  For those of you who’ve seen me sing my parody of Imagine, STOP LAUGHING!  It’s not about hoping that one of your messages reaches beyond your immediate network, it’s about planting seeds on a regular basis into the furtile soil of those who in one way or another are already familiar with you: who are part of your social network.

Let’s play-out a worst-case scenario, assuming that you have 1000 people on your Facebook Fan Page.  You put a nice little picture of a new piece of jewellery and say, “come-by to check-out our newest items.”  Someone replies “I bought one the other day and it fell apart on me.”  When you send 100 to 1000 messages per year to those 1000 people, they don’t always read everything you post, and they are less likely to read the comments or replies to your posts.  In fact most of the time, they’ll just look at the picture and if they like it, they’ll make a mental note to drop by to look at it.

For the 5 or 10 people who actually read a negative comment, you’ve got a couple of options.  You can post a further comment acknowledging the incident and explaining what you’ve done to remediate the situation.  Everyone who has commented on a twitter or Facebook posts will be notified of your reply.  Everyone who subsequently sees the post will see all comments including your answers.

Look, no single message to your social network is going to make you or sink you.  It’s all about consistently “being there”.  This is your very own affordable T.O.M.A. (top of mind awareness) among people you already know.  Relationships have ups and downs; in fact the more downs you successfully overcome, the stronger the relationship.  People are increasingly using social media and allowing that influence into their lives, so tell me again: why not be social in the new digital way?

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