Interaction is Not an Option

By Bryan Lokey, Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Facebook marketing and blogging

The proliferation of social networking throughout the internet has lead to a sharp increase in social marketing. Whether this marketing comes in terms of social networking profiles, viral videos, or blog entries companies are striving to meet their customers where they are–online.  While this type of marketing effort is a necessity, companies have to be careful about how they do it.  Most corporate social networking campaigns are failures because they do not understand the social dynamics associated with an effective social networking campaign.

The success of social networking sites comes from the user generated aspect of the service.  Each individual can control their own experience and create a community of friends. If companies overdo their efforts by constantly spamming people with advertisements they run the risk of alienating their audience by making them feel like they have invaded their turf.  It is similar to product placement in movies.  There are numerous examples of this technique done well but the examples of it being done poorly are the ones that are remembered.  When done correctly the placement seems minor and doesn’t draw attention to itself.  Unfortunately, when done incorrectly, product placement in movies tends to alienate viewers who dislike having their entertainment time violated by such obvious commercial interests.

The steps necessary for a good social networking campaign are very similar to those needed in a traditional advertising campaign. You must understand your audience, their needs, and what level of advertising they are willing to accept.  The difference is that you are no longer directly advertising–you are interacting with your audience and the people who follow you become your best advertisement.  So make it easy for them to advertise for you by starting a Facebook group.  Let the group members leave reviews of your service or helpful tips on your page. Interact with professionals in your field or others.

Remember that you must actively participate in social networks to maintain your presence. If you stop interacting with people they will quickly lose interest and move on. Above all, be interesting and relevant.

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Posted in: Austin Web Design, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Networking

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