A recent post by Jim Dougherty caught my attention.
It discussed a FORBES piece titled “The Truth About Social Media”, and ended asking: “Is Social Media Marketing a “long game” or are social goals more accessible than this?” The real question should read: Is Marketing (stripped off additional tags) a “long game”? If your answer to this question is yes, then you should treat social media marketing likewise.
Is social media marketing a unique animal?
Marketing has always been about a search to communicate ideas, a struggle for differentiation, a contest to influence and resonate on people’s minds. Even when you use marketing to promote a short term objective, there is always a residual message embedded.
Social Media is a different channel to spread your message, a powerful one. One that tears apart the very fabrics of old fashion marketing practices for 2 main reasons:
1. It levels the playing field empowering the consumer’s influence on his or her community. The voice of an individual is not yet balanced with that of a company, but it is now at heights that enable it to speak up louder, and ears are listening. Push and Pull strategies are losing ground to Participate and Embrace. The long run opportunities of this situation bewilder anyone’s imagination.
2. It goes beyond the realms of other media because it is mainly about sharing. To Share to entertain, to gain recognition, to build a reputation or just for the heck of it. While with other media users engaged to mainly receive, anyone who engages in Social Media, joined either to share, receive what someone else is sharing… or both. The power of Social media is the power of Sharing.
A holistic marketing strategy
In conclusion, Social Media Marketing requires a special understanding, different than traditional media marketing, but, if you decide to include Social media as part of your Marketing efforts, then you should visualize it the same way you feel about Marketing as a whole. Whether it is a long run or a short one would depend on your perception about marketing itself.
What do you think? Is social media as philosophically different from traditional media as it is tangibly different? Can you utlize a long-term strategy with one and not the other?