The really difficult part of social media marketing is when marketing professionals actually have to do some creative work, and develop valuable content that will generate a response, and stimulate conversation among individuals in social media communities.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but individuals who spend a lot of time socializing with one another on Social Media websites are usually not going to pay attention to your company’s Myspace page, or new product announcement blog, or stupid YouTube video about how cool it is to shop at your store.
For example, let’s say you work in a certain shoe company’s marketing department, and you are developing a strategy to market this new running shoe that is coming out at the end of the summer. Let’s also assume that the shoe was designed to mainly appeal to younger customers, because of its vibrant designs, built in MP3 player, and picture of 50 Cent on the shoe tongue. Well, maybe I should scratch the 50-Cent picture idea that is a little ridiculous. Moving on. Now it doesn’t take a marketing wizard to figure out that you should direct a majority of your marketing efforts towards online Social Media channels, with a young audience that is interested in running.
First of all, you have to accept the fact that even if there is some Yahoo running group, most of the conversations they have about running shoes are probably not going to contain extremely detailed information about what aspects of a certain shoe they like or dislike. That’s way too much work. I mean, I love beer, but I am not going to spend time writing about what I like or dislike about certain beers on a conversation board or blog. People usually have better things to do with their time, like actually running, or drinking beer.
So let’s go back to the topic of engaging these individuals in conversation. And once again, when I say “engage” I don’t mean start some lame blog dedicated to product announcements (See: MyNikeRunningShoe BlogSpot)
While there may not be a guide or book for the correct way to be execute SMM, I can sure as heck assure you that if there was, this futile attempt by Nike would be in the ‘things not to do’ section.
Commercialized posts, like this one from Nike were obviously thrown together with minimal effort. Careless errors like this can create harsh feelings from those individuals who blog on a daily basis, which may lead to someone who is influential in their social media community developing a stale taste in their mouth for your brand. This might create a different type of buzz than the one you originally intended.
So at this point you may be asking yourself “Well then what’s the right way to engage these audiences Mr. Know-it-all?”
Let’s get one thing straight. I am not a Mr. Know-it-all. Show me an individual who claims to be the baddest Social Media Marketer in the west, and I will show you an individual who is feeding their own ego with dirty liar pancakes.
If any SMM tool is going to ever create value for you, it is going to first have to create value for them.
Copywriters like Mike Figliuolo refer to a similiar strategy that they use in their writing, which Mike specifically refers to as the WIFY Strategy, or Whats In It For You (the audience…not you ya dope).
Relating this back to SMM, when we create content to publish in social media, we must keep the goals of the audience in mind. What do they want to see, hear, watch, etc. What are they going to view as being valuable.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that Nike has a great marketing & advertising department, and it was probably some intern who thought posting a blog like the one above would be a great idea.
SearchEngineGuide.com has a great article by Mack Collier who explains the concept of creating value for your audience extremely well. I suggest you give it a read, and then come back here for some more dirty liar pancakes ;