Saturday, August 15, 2009

The difference between social media marketing and social media meat markets

The Twitter phenomena, following hot on the heals of Facebook and MySpace, has created the impression with many otherwise savvy business people that they can achieve great value simply by joining the respective communities and blasting their advertising out to a waiting world. Those who understand social media, it's culture, power, edification and relationship building potential realise how misguided this impression is. This ignorant approach to social media makes the clueless perpetrators worse than the most abhorrent spammers in existence.

Albeit I am confident that the social media communities will eventually naturally weed out these cyber-ignoramuses, in the meantime the level to noise ratio has become quite deafening, and a real risk exists that instead of being weeded out they grow out of control until there is very little left worth hanging around for.

What is it about the online world that turns normally intelligent, respectable business people into such vulgar bottom feeding scum?

Now a new industry has been spawned that caters to this market of ignorance and helps the cancerous attitude fester. Sites that offer to sell you 1,000 5,000 10,000 or event 100,000 Twitter followers are springing up and offering what appears to be A Grade Prime Rib for the price of cheap hamburger mince. As the saying goes, if you buy a diamond for $10, chances are you are the not-so-proud owner of an expensive piece of shattered glass.

I have no doubt that the people who set up these services know exactly what they are doing and how very little value indeed their service offers to either their clients or the social media communities in general. However their clients are obviously misguided at best and morons at worst if they believe the pitch of these people to be the great Valhalla of social media marketing. Whilst I am all for capitalism and free markets, do these idiots not understand the total and utter irrelevance of spamming their message to a community that by nature is an opt-in, follow by choice environment.

The challenge for the rest of us is to assist these people to understand the nature of this media and show them the benefits that can be derived from approaching it with the correct frame of mind. The question they will have to ask themselves is do they see value in investing time in building such relationships. I suspect the stats for the answer to that question will map pretty closely with the stats of which of those businesses take a relationship building approach to their off-line customer engagements.

Whatever you do, BE amazing!

Kind regards,

About the writer Paul J. Lange:
I am a serial entrepreneur with business interests in venture capital & private funding, social media marketing, wellness, personal development, and online services. Together with a select group of C-Level executives, I also provide an outsourced interim board service. I am passionate about helping others to achieve success, and lead Mastermind Groups of people committed to bringing about a positive change in their lifestyle.

If you have an interest in any of the above areas and are seeking advice or support for a specific issue, send me an email with an overview of what you would like to discuss and we will schedule time to talk by phone or Skype.