Sunday, March 23, 2008

Social Media Marketing - Observations

Social media-ites say that companies have to get into the conversation and that this is the "it" trend. Yet according to Charlene Li's Groundswell/Forrester blog, from a 2007 Forrester survey, most people in the overall US fall under the "Spectators" (people who read online content) or "Inactives" (Do not use online media at all) category.

It could be that we are in social media bubble. Some companies will rise and fall--thus is the name of the game, as competition is the main motive behind business.

The reaction that I have to the Forrester tool is that if they are using random samples of people across the US and other nations, and most people fall under the "Spectators" category (around 48% of the sampled US population), how do you increase participation? Marketers are often challenged with creating brand loyalty and only few companies, like Apple do it well.

Here are a few ideas:

1) Blogs are an easy way to transition from traditional PR to social media PR.
It's highly involved, however and so some way of building analytics into your blog is important as well. Most people read online content and the lines between traditional media and online media are becoming blurred.

2) Your Brand Followers will respond to some ideas more than others. Listen to what they have to say and continue on those avenues but don't be shy about introducing other relevant content.

3) Relevance is important. Sports fans won't be interested in a conversation about cooking, although you can have sports fans that are avid cooks--it's just a smaller group of people, and ideally you want to reach out to a larger group. I try to keep random topics to the weekends, and industry talk and peripheral marketing stuff seems to be OK because my objective is to offer my point of view.

4) Think Viral Marketing and how to employ those same kinds of strategies to proliferate talk about your company, but be ready to listen to negative comments as well as positive.

5) Since there are different levels of participation, think about ways to reach out to people on those different levels. While some might enjoy creating content, the majority of people are happy just reading a few things and then moving on.

Feel free to add to this list!

Updated Monday, March 24, 2008

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