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Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

Getting the proper point-of-view regarding Social Media

I’ve grown a little weary of all the people who claim to have a solution for how to make money with Social Media.

The problem, it seems to me, is figuring out how to view the role of social media.

I recall shortly after the internet began getting attention for retail purposes, some young consultants from IBM presented at a trade show to reveal the great insights they had gained into consumer behavior by aggregating internet sales data by region.  At the time, nearly everyone I spoke with in the direct marketing industry reacted to their presentation with a “ho hum.”  No big news.

Earlier, the company I was with got a promotion contract with Glaxo Wellcome to promote a “bulletin board system” to doctors.  We got the contract because we admitted that no one really had any experience in how to do this type of promotion.  Of course, we found out the BBS had to be promoted just like anything else.

So what is new about Social Media?  And what is the paradigm for getting the most out of it?

I have a hypothesis to answer both of these questions:

  • Think of social media as your own private media outlet.  You control all of the content.  You control all of the ads.  You are the editor, publisher and advertiser.

If this view is correct, then Social Media should fit into your media planning just like any other media channel.  For example, timing of content on Facebook should coincide with other promotions you’re running elsewhere.  Coupons on Twitter are “calls for action” which should follow the content … after all you have to get the message out, before you ask for the order.

If this view is correct, getting followers on Twitter or “likes” on Facebook are the equivalent of getting subscribers to a magazine or viewers on a television program.  Of course, the most significances of these followers or likers is that they are just yours.  There is no intermediary to filter what you say to them or when you say.  And that’s a big plus.

 

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Filed under: Direct Commerce, Ideas, Opinion, , , , , ,

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