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May 11, 2009

Implementing Social Media - Not new platform old rules!

Every now and again I will tip toe over to AdAge or one of the other Advertising industry blogs or publications just to see what they are up to and how they are dealing with the sudden and dramatic assault on their livelihoods.

That was when I stumbled upon a recent post talking about how hard it is to implement Social Media.

The whole thing left me feeling a bit perplexed actually and feeling a bit sorry for them.

Here we have the ad guys, the ones who have made a reasonable living, and reasonable profits from their clients, by using the old advertising routines and tricks. Trade shows, TV ads, newspaper and magazine spreads, mail outs, you name it.

All aimed at, as Seth says, interrupting people while they are doing something else - and trying to snare their attention.

The more you do it, the more likely they are to take notice, the more they take notice the more likely they are to act... and so on. A workable, winning formula - until now.

So what do they do? They try to recreate what used to work on the new platform. In the very early days of mass electronic communications this took the form of spam. Ways to reach everyone they could using the most adequate and direct means. In those days (before CAN SPAM and other innovations) spam filters didn't exist, spam email was relatively new, and people were able to be interrupted while going about their email routines.

That didn't last long...

Today we see another version of this. Blanket blog writing, interlinked Twitter accounts, all blasting out corporate messages, all vying for your attention, and all trying to invade the new space where people can now be found.

But the world is different now. We have choice, and not all social media avenues are created equal, in fact they are vastly different.

If you are selling B2B, then a blog or twitter may not help you at all !!! In fact, they will probably just provide you with a pretty dramatic waste of time if you get the entire team into it.

Thats not always the case, I have a B2B blog on engineering and it helps me quite a bit; but if I wasn't doing it for fun, and for my own B2C aspirations - then I would drop it as a B2B marketing tool.

Social media is not a team sport, it is an individual pursuit.

Second, it can help drive B2C business - but not at first. In fact, often not for several months or more of blood sweat and lots of tears.

Third, the old "grab your attention" type of marketing is dying. We have choice and exercise it. Our trust is harder to gain than ever before in history, and to be frank we don't have time to get to know you so we can work out if we should trust you.

Success in social media is more about personal connections, personal brand building, personal relationships and personalized discussions.

If you want to succeed in social media marketing, then you cannot simply think that it is a new platform with old rules. Thats what the newspapers thought much to their chagrin.

It is a new platform with new rules; some of which we still don't understand as yet.

But it definitely is not about blanket coverage and trying to be everywhere your potential customers are... it is more about being what they are looking for (through personal brand building) and being extraordinary when they finally find you.

(Not an easy thing to say when you have a terrible blog template like mine is right now...sorry about that)