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What Social Media Marketing Is Not

by BL Ochman  |  
February 26, 2008

No doubt about it, buzzwords—from viral to meme to mashup to social media itself—abound. As Hugh Macleod joked in a recent Twitter post, "Pretty soon we'll have 'Social' prefixing everything: Social Marketing, Social Communicating, Social Cornflakes."

Yet, despite all the talk, the mainstream media coverage, the conferences, courses, and books on social media marketing, there's quite a bit of ambivalence, fear, and sometimes outright hostility directed toward social media by CMOs, CEOs, and CFOs.

All of this leads to the dreaded "we just want to stick our toe in the water, and see what this stuff is all about" and "we want to do a small, low-budget social media project and track the ROI."

Danger, Will Robinson!! Danger, Will Robinson!!!

Social media isn't a one-shot deal

Social media isn't a technique, a short-term project, an experiment, an event, a one-shot deal, or a quick fix. It's not something you throw money at, and using it doesn't guarantee sales or influence.

Social media is a set of tools that can help you make your company or your products or your services what people recommend to other people who trust their judgment.

Those tools provide absolutely anyone to establish credibility and gain trust. And the information, good or bad, that's created and shared with those tools stays in search engines forever.

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B.L. Ochman is a social media marketing strategist for S&P 500 companies, including McGraw Hill, IBM, Cendant, and American Greetings. She publishes What's Next Blog and Ethics Crisis, where readers can confess their worst ethics transgressions and others can rate them on a scale of one to ten. She also blogs for MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog.

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  • by Mike Templeton Mon Mar 10, 2008 via web

    This provides a great overview for a marketer who is curious about social media and hasn't yet jumped into the medium. I like the point that was made stating that social media is not a one-time event. Social media takes time, resources and money (though usually less than traditional media) to support and to make successful. Companies and marketers HAVE to stay engaged with the activity if they want to see results.

  • by Sarah Leckie Wed Apr 9, 2008 via web

    This is a great synopsis of social media and the culture that is created. My company has a social network site and before launching the site we realized that although our site looked nice, we were missing the ‘social’ aspects that would create interactivity. It resembled our brand site which showcases what we have and what we do. We have monitored our analytics and changed our strategy. We needed to ensure interactivity so that we could ensure success. Every social network has to have a ‘fun factor.’ Responding to blogs, weekly promotions, videos, pod-casting…the suggestions described in this article are exactly what you need. We’re on the right track now and our analytics prove it. Thanks for writing a great article!

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