As a long-time disciple of direct marketing I’ve often stated how I believe the best use of the medium is for two-way communication; where the sender delivers information to the recipient for a little information in return. Direct mail and direct-response communication — via print, broadcast or Web-based media — work best when an exchange of valuable information occurs, as opposed to a one-way push.
The same is true for social media of course, as both parties benefit when each participates in an exchange of opinion, some facts or (real) news. I realize I’m not stating anything new, yet I continue to be surprised at the amount of product-based information that is pushed out via social media without the expectation of anything in return. In other words, advertising via social media commentary, which is the wrong strategy to take if one seeks results.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a believer in advertising via social media outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn. We’ve seen measurable results there and know others have, as well. I’m talking about marketers who send out promotional messages — sometimes overtly — as posts, thinking they’re influencing (or fooling) readers with their comments. I fear what actually happens is they turn-off the reader and risk damage to their brand with these misguided attempts. Sounds a little harsh, but from what I’m reading, it’s happening.
I urge all social media marketers to join the conversation and share your thoughts, opinions and reactions to others. Just keep your promotional messages to yourself — or put them into actual online advertising where they’ll be more readily accepted.