Thursday, March 22, 2012

Social marketing: it's about building a relationship

"All this massive information is going to be filtered through your friends... the era of push marketing is over, or it's ending."- Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook

Paul Adams took the stage at Federated Media Publishing Signal San Francisco earlier today.  He talked about how marketers often misunderstand how social media marketing campaigns should be designed.  As he wrote in his recently published book Grouped, he emphasized that social media campaign is about building a relationship with customers, not flashing a sales sign in front of as many of your target audience as you can possibly afford.  Bigger and flashier is not what social marketing is about.  It's about building an emotional connection with customers and their friends.

In an interview to promote his book Grouped, he talks about how we often make decisions that we cannot rationalize.  These decisions, he argues, are made by emotional and subconscious region of our brain.  Decisions are influenced by friends around us and not by some marketer who bought an ad on web page.  They are made in context of aggregated experience with the brand, that is, friend's recommendation, relationship that you have with the brand, past experience with product, etc.  Because we rely on our trusted friends, using influential connectors to scale up the marketing message, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, is not how people make decisions in reality.

Paul Adams talks about his book, Grouped;
skip the fluff and start from 2:00 min, meat ends at 8:00 min

I think Paul's observation is a correct one.  Social media provides marketer an unique opportunity to engage with customer directly on one-on-one basis.  There is no intermediary, no delay, no filtering.  Social marketing is about you and your customers, and how you can build relationship through engaging customer experience.  One way to do this is to build viral commercial that is fun to watch and also shareable with friends.  But social media allows marketer to do far more than that.

Marketer can put contest, sweepstake, promotion, new product feedback collection and also tie them together with customer satisfaction by integrating social CRM solutions.  All these can have their own real-time engagement data that marketer can use to fine-tune the next round of campaign.  Feedback is immediate and one-to-one.  What used to take weeks and months to put together, launch, measure and learn can now be done in matter of hours.

Ones with social savvy will move ahead at speed of social media.  The others will fall behind at that speed.  Only question is whether you'll be a part of the first or the second.


  1. DenneshoMasteroninanMarch 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Great information, what a relevant article. I'm happy to read this post that talks about social network . Definitely, social network sites are being use by internet marketer to enhance the business promotion and ushered costumers to buy in..

  2. It's matter of how soon until all marketers incorporate social strategy at some level.  Just today eMarketer ran an article discussing social media marketing budget is on the rise.