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Social Media to Open 4 Billion New Locations!

EVERYTOWN: Social Media, the new marketing restaurant at the corner of 3rd and Main, is booming. It is doing so well, that four billion new establishments just like it are planned to launch within the next twenty minutes. It doesn’t matter anymore if you develop an intelligent marketing strategy first, just offer the ingredients every other brand is spooning out. “Everybody does it” is your new strategy. You can even franchise your marketing plan or hire someone else to do it for you: like Social Media Magic.

All too many marketers are now encouraged to shut their hole, dive in to Social Media, and sacrifice the following:

1) Authenticity — Precedence shows that those who engage in social media do so for an authentic, more intimate connection with a brand, rather than the traditional corporate voice. Your ability to develop an authentic relationship in the digital space would be compromised if you handle this space carelessly, but who cares, just get your brand’s message out to the world and call it good. Impressions triumph over authenticity.

2) Value — The consensus of how brands should operate in certain online social settings is forming up to be one of research and LISTENING, not broadcasting. But if you can stick your logo in people’s faces, then why not do it? Value is way overrated.

3) Innovation — Aggregate sites are popping up, like Tinker, where your brand can create its own social setting around a topic, event, issue, etc. However, there is no reason to support innovative settings or opportunities that arise almost daily. They’re too hard to quantify or qualify, plus it only adds headache, and you’ll have to wander through a lot of read tape to implement. Whatever you do, ignore the Nielsen report from March ’09 that says 19% of people in the U.S., nearly 11 million people, rely on the mobile environment to check on their social networks. This really isn’t a high enough percentage to take advantage of yet—maybe if it hits 23% it would be worthy of consideration.

4) Responsiveness — Quick, accurate feedback for those who engage is critical—for example, someone tweets your brand with, “Our company carries X product, do you have any specials on Y going now?” What a pain, do you really think you can handle every little inquiry? Think about this, who is best fit to engage your customers, you or someone else? If you can hire someone else do your job, like Social Media Magic mentioned above, why not pay them to do it? 

5) Strategy — A trending company recently released a great social media study. It reviews how consumers desire meaningful interaction with with their brands and others, and indicates the importance of acknowledging the participants within social arenas. …So? Since when has the voice of the people been smarter than the voice of the corporation? Duh…

If you think before you engage in the social realms, beware…you may disrupt the norm! Or you could just go along with it and dive in blindly… hey, everybody does it.

– Dave Goldfain