Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Different Perspective On Social Media Marketing

By: Dr. Augustine Fou, SVP MRM Worldwide

Virtually every advertiser is asking for it. They have all heard about examples of YouTube videos going “viral” and reaching millions of people practically overnight. They have read the stats that say modern consumers’ top trusted source for information is “people like them,” that they don’t trust advertising, and that virtually everyone does research online before making purchases, even if they make the purchase offline. So advertisers have quickly jumped on the bandwagon of “social media marketing.” But doing social media marketing usually takes the form of brand pages on MySpace, Facebook fan pages, or YouTube channels of brand videos.

Doing “social media marketing” right is a different story entirely. The landscape and the consumers have changed, but known and comfortable ways of doing advertising have not (yet). Advertisers are coming from a world of meticulously crafted brand messages being blasted out at people through one-way media like TV, print, or radio — to a world where consumers can tune it all out at the press of a button. Modern consumers, who have too little time and are “information overloaded,” reject this form of “being shouted at,” no matter how clever or entertaining. However, when they are ready to make a purchase, they do their homework by researching online and reading what “people like them” have to say.

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