Friday, June 19, 2009

Social Media: Just Because? Perhaps ;)

There’s some provocative commentary over at Ad Age: “Why I Hate Social Media

Don’t count me among the social media haters, per se. I do find the media themselves to be interesting—especially all the instant interconnectedness among people around the globe.

But Ad Age columnist Matt Jones has a point, I think, when talking about using this tool for marketing purposes: it’s still about the big idea.

Lots of people are jumping on the social media express. They’re reading about it everywhere, and the knee-jerk reaction is to say “Hey, me, too!” But for jumping on board to be worthwhile, you still have to offer fresh, compelling stories that engage and build community with people who share similar interests. Otherwise, your Tweets will be easily ignored by the same social-media-savvy people you’re trying to reach.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be experimenting in these fast-evolving realms. But if you’re using social media for your business, you should at least consider how doing so relates to your company goals and strategy. And more importantly, you have to make sure you’re having real-life, give-and-take conversations with customers, prospects and industry people. (Take Dell and IdeaStorm, for example.)

Don’t forget to listen, learn and take action. Thanks to the wide variety of social media research tools available (start by exploring Twitter’s search function), you can tune in to what people are talking about and tailor your messages accordingly. So go ahead and join the conversation.

After all, the big idea of “social media” is being “social.”

Friday, June 12, 2009

Word of Mouth Marketing: More Valuable Than Ever

In these days of tight resources, the quest to do more with less has many of us returning to marketing basics.

You don’t get more basic—or more cost-effective—than word-of-mouth marketing. And today, good old-fashioned word of mouth can be easier and more powerful than ever, thanks to social media and other web 2.0 tools.

To help you get going, there’s a constant parade of great advice and examples to emulate over at the Word of Mouth Marketing Blog.

It’s run by to Gaspedal, a noted word-of-mouth marketing consultancy led by Andy Sernovitz, author and expert in word-of-mouth and its 21st century manifestation in blogs and social media.

OK, full disclosure: We were pleased to see that a Nueske’s tradeshow giveaway we orchestrated got a shout-out recently on the blog.

Nevertheless, gaspedal and its blog have tons of excellent tips for how you can fuse classic approaches and new technology to accelerate your success. So go check it out and put it to use.