Strangers in a strange marketing land

Read Write Web published a post I wrote this morning about preventing Facebook fan exodus, aptly called How to Prevent Facebook Fan Exodus. A clip:

When it comes to social media, traditional marketers are strangers in a strange land. Despite companies’ drive to be more social, a recently released study shows that 40% of a brand’s Facebook page fans “unlike” them soon after a promotional campaign ends. And even within the most “liked” fan pages, user engagement is abysmal. Of Eminem’s 41.5 million fans, only 575 actively engage with the page.

If you’re too busy to click the link, here’s the thesis.

As the cheerleaders of our brands, we’re accustomed to loudly shouting our messages through TV, radio, print ads, and website banners because we see good ROI by getting as many eyeballs as possible on an ad at once. But effective social media doesn’t work that way: It’s a friendly conversation, not a soap box.

Several big brands throw money at anything called social or digital and expect results. Big money helps, but it often times (not always) requires a several step process for it to convert into an actual sales. (It also takes an open conversation with your audience, but that’s a rant for another post.)

When I offer advice about social marketing, I sometimes use the example of how exhibitors get leads. A smart exhibitor offers something anyone at the expo would want – say candy or squeaky toys in the shape of a penguin – and quickly attracts a large crowd. It’s a friendly welcome and reason for someone to stop and look at you. Then you have free thing number two to separate the qualified leads from the riffraff who just wanted candy (me, usually), something like a free download of your service or free presentation of a solution. At this point you’ve engaged them enough to give you their contact info. Bam. Lead acquired. And from there comes a long list of ways to pursue them to make a sale. It’s not a one-time, one-step process. Neither is social.

It’s a rethinking and resetting of expectations you’ve drilled into your head.

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