Imagine you’re sitting in a bar with a friend and he turns to you and says “Try new Wallop Extra with extra hops. It’s the bitter with bite for drinkers who like a flagon with flavour!” You’d think he’d gone stark raving mad, or had possibly been taken over by aliens.
That’s what happens when you try to make social media do the job of traditional advertising or promotion – which many attempt to do, then wonder why their efforts meet with so little success. Repeat after me: social media is social, and to be effective must be natural, conversational and, when it comes to business, indirect. As if you’re talking to a mate.
Of course you can – and should – use social marketing alongside traditional disciplines in an integrated marketing campaign. Which is not to say that social media alone is ineffective in winning business. On the contrary, it can be highly effective – when you know how and when to use it.
The traditional discipline it most resembles is public relations, and it works on much the same principle: people trust an unbiased source, and a third party recommendation carries more weight than self advertisement.
Now, fancy another pint? I hear the Wallop’s very good.