Pro Social Media, Anti Shouting

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Last week, a client of mine referred me to someone who needs help figuring out how to incorporate social media into his marketing mix. “You know,” my client said, “I don’t even know if you like doing this work, because you never talk about it. But you helped me a lot and I think you can help this guy.”

The conversation made me confront why I don’t talk much about helping people with social media, and why it’s not a big part of my website or this blog (though it does sneak in from time to time).

One reason is that it seems that everyone in marketing today calls themselves “social media consultants.” And many of these consultants (snake-oil salesmen?) want to teach you how to shout at prospects, how to coerce people into joining your network, and other strategies (I use that term loosely) that to me are ineffective and basically bad, offensive marketing. Someone, say, like this guy:

So what do I do to help people in social media? I won’t tweet for you. I won’t write a sponsored post for you. I will talk to you about what you do, who your customers are & how they use social media. We’ll have a discussion about whether and how you could reach them using social media, whether there are ways to find customers or service your existing customers using these tools, and whether, frankly, you and your company really want to engage with customers this way (not everyone does).

At the end, you might see social media as something that can help your business, or you might think it has no value to your business at all. But you won’t feel sleazy, and your ears won’t be ringing from shouting.


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