Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Integrated Marketing and Media, PR 20, Social Media Marketing

Let’s Stop Swooning Over Social Media

harv9 600c397450 pixels 300x176 Lets Stop Swooning Over Social MediaAre you overdoing it on social media? Just a little?

I’m a proponent of social media. In fact, I’m a proponent that gets paid to convince others that social media is valuable. But, like in the early days of Web design, SEO, PPC, email, and banners before it, there’s too much swooning and not enough thinking about social media right now.

The good news is that social media is something special. It’s not just a marketing tactic (although social media marketing can be effective). It’s more of a movement. A philosophy that brings brands and customers closer together through humanization of the brand and mutual respect.

The subsidiary good news is that many companies and their agencies have changed the question in 2009 to “how do we incorporate social media?” rather than “why should we incorporate social media?”

The bad news is that many in the social media arena would lead you to believe that social media is ready for prime time and that you should forsake all other forms of marketing. That’s just crazy. While consumers clearly want to engage with brands in social media, the number of social media users – while growing fast – is not yet overwhelmingly large.

If You Think You Can Use Social Media Only, You Can’t

You simply cannot ignore the percentage of your customer and prospective customer base that isn’t involved in social media. And it’s easy to overlook them. The convenience, immediacy, and conviviality (for now) of social media gives it a strong gravitational pull. I probably spend more time on Twitter than can be justified from a business perspective, but it’s so much fun and I learn so much, that it’s hard to stay away.

And to some degree, full reliance on social media is a marketing cop out. This fallacy of “we’ll engage with our customers and let them do our marketing for us by telling their friends” reads well in a marketing plan, but is exceptionally difficult to execute unless your brand is compelling in a way that most simply aren’t.

The time will come when social media will start to take budget dollars away from entrenched marketing programs the way that banners and search have taken budget from TV. That time isn’t here yet. But it’s coming.

Until then, I encourage you to embrace social media, but leave one arm free to execute smart marketing programs for the 50% (or more) of the world that doesn’t know Yelp from kelp.

  • http://www.offmadisonave.com/ William Smith

    Good article, Jason.

    Just a few things I’d add from my own observations. Social media isn’t inherently a marketing vehicle. What I mean is, social can be used to market a product, but marketing and advertising wasn’t what social media was born of. The sharing of content, ideas and such aren’t limited to marketing application, so when I see companies go online and try to use social the way they use say, pay per click marketing or search engine optimization, it makes me cringe. When i see companies use Twitter the way they would use say, a classified or yellow page ad, it is discouraging.

    I’m afraid social media, as a term, is becoming synonymous with “internet marketing” or even “word of mouth marketing” when it isn’t. I think you pointed it out in another one of your posts or tweets, there is a difference between social media and social media marketing.

    These days when i think of social media, i think of things like Seadragon from Microsoft which lets people put photos into a large pool, from different places on the web (Flickr for example) and combine them into panoramas. I also think of sites like Howcast and Videojug which let people share information in a DIY style presentation online through video. Companies that use the media that OTHERS produce are really using “social media” the right way imo. Southwest Airlines comes to mind.

    William Smith’s last blog post..Friday Blog Question: New Year’s Resolutions

  • http://www.offmadisonave.com/ William Smith

    Good article, Jason.

    Just a few things I’d add from my own observations. Social media isn’t inherently a marketing vehicle. What I mean is, social can be used to market a product, but marketing and advertising wasn’t what social media was born of. The sharing of content, ideas and such aren’t limited to marketing application, so when I see companies go online and try to use social the way they use say, pay per click marketing or search engine optimization, it makes me cringe. When i see companies use Twitter the way they would use say, a classified or yellow page ad, it is discouraging.

    I’m afraid social media, as a term, is becoming synonymous with “internet marketing” or even “word of mouth marketing” when it isn’t. I think you pointed it out in another one of your posts or tweets, there is a difference between social media and social media marketing.

    These days when i think of social media, i think of things like Seadragon from Microsoft which lets people put photos into a large pool, from different places on the web (Flickr for example) and combine them into panoramas. I also think of sites like Howcast and Videojug which let people share information in a DIY style presentation online through video. Companies that use the media that OTHERS produce are really using “social media” the right way imo. Southwest Airlines comes to mind.

    William Smith’s last blog post..Friday Blog Question: New Year’s Resolutions

  • http://www.offmadisonave.com/ William Smith

    Good article, Jason.

    Just a few things I’d add from my own observations. Social media isn’t inherently a marketing vehicle. What I mean is, social can be used to market a product, but marketing and advertising wasn’t what social media was born of. The sharing of content, ideas and such aren’t limited to marketing application, so when I see companies go online and try to use social the way they use say, pay per click marketing or search engine optimization, it makes me cringe. When i see companies use Twitter the way they would use say, a classified or yellow page ad, it is discouraging.

    I’m afraid social media, as a term, is becoming synonymous with “internet marketing” or even “word of mouth marketing” when it isn’t. I think you pointed it out in another one of your posts or tweets, there is a difference between social media and social media marketing.

    These days when i think of social media, i think of things like Seadragon from Microsoft which lets people put photos into a large pool, from different places on the web (Flickr for example) and combine them into panoramas. I also think of sites like Howcast and Videojug which let people share information in a DIY style presentation online through video. Companies that use the media that OTHERS produce are really using “social media” the right way imo. Southwest Airlines comes to mind.

    William Smith’s last blog post..Friday Blog Question: New Year’s Resolutions

  • http://www.offmadisonave.com William Smith

    Good article, Jason.

    Just a few things I’d add from my own observations. Social media isn’t inherently a marketing vehicle. What I mean is, social can be used to market a product, but marketing and advertising wasn’t what social media was born of. The sharing of content, ideas and such aren’t limited to marketing application, so when I see companies go online and try to use social the way they use say, pay per click marketing or search engine optimization, it makes me cringe. When i see companies use Twitter the way they would use say, a classified or yellow page ad, it is discouraging.

    I’m afraid social media, as a term, is becoming synonymous with “internet marketing” or even “word of mouth marketing” when it isn’t. I think you pointed it out in another one of your posts or tweets, there is a difference between social media and social media marketing.

    These days when i think of social media, i think of things like Seadragon from Microsoft which lets people put photos into a large pool, from different places on the web (Flickr for example) and combine them into panoramas. I also think of sites like Howcast and Videojug which let people share information in a DIY style presentation online through video. Companies that use the media that OTHERS produce are really using “social media” the right way imo. Southwest Airlines comes to mind.

    William Smith’s last blog post..Friday Blog Question: New Year’s Resolutions

  • Jason Baer

    Great comment Will. Thank you. I love your line about companies using the media that other people produce. Very nice.

    I haven’t seen Seadragon. I gotta check that out.

  • Jason Baer

    Great comment Will. Thank you. I love your line about companies using the media that other people produce. Very nice.

    I haven’t seen Seadragon. I gotta check that out.

  • Jason Baer

    Great comment Will. Thank you. I love your line about companies using the media that other people produce. Very nice.

    I haven’t seen Seadragon. I gotta check that out.

  • Jason Baer

    Great comment Will. Thank you. I love your line about companies using the media that other people produce. Very nice.

    I haven’t seen Seadragon. I gotta check that out.

  • http://franklinbishop.net/blogging-school/ Blog Expert

    I agree on a lot of this. Here is how I see it. I think too many people are beginning to think that social media is the answer. That could be good for some companies though because they can take advantage of the people that are not using social media.

    Blog Expert’s last blog post..8 WordPress Social Bookmarking Plugins

  • http://franklinbishop.net/blogging-school/ Blog Expert

    I agree on a lot of this. Here is how I see it. I think too many people are beginning to think that social media is the answer. That could be good for some companies though because they can take advantage of the people that are not using social media.

    Blog Expert’s last blog post..8 WordPress Social Bookmarking Plugins

  • http://franklinbishop.net/blogging-school/ Blog Expert

    I agree on a lot of this. Here is how I see it. I think too many people are beginning to think that social media is the answer. That could be good for some companies though because they can take advantage of the people that are not using social media.

    Blog Expert’s last blog post..8 WordPress Social Bookmarking Plugins

  • Jason Baer

    Franklin –

    Good thoughts. I wonder too, if a lot of people are thinking social media is the answer mostly because other stuff that has worked historically is no longer working. Are people just grasping at straws?

  • Jason Baer

    Franklin –

    Good thoughts. I wonder too, if a lot of people are thinking social media is the answer mostly because other stuff that has worked historically is no longer working. Are people just grasping at straws?

  • Jason Baer

    Franklin –

    Good thoughts. I wonder too, if a lot of people are thinking social media is the answer mostly because other stuff that has worked historically is no longer working. Are people just grasping at straws?

  • Jason Baer

    Franklin –

    Good thoughts. I wonder too, if a lot of people are thinking social media is the answer mostly because other stuff that has worked historically is no longer working. Are people just grasping at straws?

  • Atomicsix

    I’ve worked on brands that were struggling to integrate social network media into the marketing strategy and now work at a company whose brand has a very limited presence outside of the blogs. The wonders of social media are still shiny for me and in reality for most consumer product marketers. Most don’t get it and the rest of us don’t know what to do with it once we have it.

    Traditional brand management has evolved into a very calculated series of exercises. Virtually all other aspects of the marketing plan are metrics and acronyms. The messages and imagery are tightly controlled and measured. Leveraging social media without bastardizing it requires marketers to accept a whole new paradigm for their brand and their role in “managing” it.

  • Atomicsix

    I’ve worked on brands that were struggling to integrate social network media into the marketing strategy and now work at a company whose brand has a very limited presence outside of the blogs. The wonders of social media are still shiny for me and in reality for most consumer product marketers. Most don’t get it and the rest of us don’t know what to do with it once we have it.

    Traditional brand management has evolved into a very calculated series of exercises. Virtually all other aspects of the marketing plan are metrics and acronyms. The messages and imagery are tightly controlled and measured. Leveraging social media without bastardizing it requires marketers to accept a whole new paradigm for their brand and their role in “managing” it.

  • Kristin Thistle

    Will – to your point about people using social media networks like Twitter to “sell” like they would in a classified ad, I totally agree with it being discouraging, and pretty annoying. It’s like people finally, after all these years, realize that “advertising” doesn’t work, yet they’re trying to squeeze advertising into a new form.

    These social media networks are more about connecting, and relationships, not posting every ten minutes about how great your business is. I’ve learned a ton about it the last few months and I’m looking forward to learning more! Thanks for the article Jason!

  • Kristin Thistle

    Will – to your point about people using social media networks like Twitter to “sell” like they would in a classified ad, I totally agree with it being discouraging, and pretty annoying. It’s like people finally, after all these years, realize that “advertising” doesn’t work, yet they’re trying to squeeze advertising into a new form.

    These social media networks are more about connecting, and relationships, not posting every ten minutes about how great your business is. I’ve learned a ton about it the last few months and I’m looking forward to learning more! Thanks for the article Jason!

  • Kristin Thistle

    Will – to your point about people using social media networks like Twitter to “sell” like they would in a classified ad, I totally agree with it being discouraging, and pretty annoying. It’s like people finally, after all these years, realize that “advertising” doesn’t work, yet they’re trying to squeeze advertising into a new form.

    These social media networks are more about connecting, and relationships, not posting every ten minutes about how great your business is. I’ve learned a ton about it the last few months and I’m looking forward to learning more! Thanks for the article Jason!

  • Kristin Thistle

    Will – to your point about people using social media networks like Twitter to “sell” like they would in a classified ad, I totally agree with it being discouraging, and pretty annoying. It’s like people finally, after all these years, realize that “advertising” doesn’t work, yet they’re trying to squeeze advertising into a new form.

    These social media networks are more about connecting, and relationships, not posting every ten minutes about how great your business is. I’ve learned a ton about it the last few months and I’m looking forward to learning more! Thanks for the article Jason!

  • http://ericinparkcity.wordpress.com/ Eric Hoffman

    I often catch myself thinking about how much our company could accomplish in the world of social media and then I pinch myself to wake up to what you’ve written – that only a fraction of our customers are in the social media space!
    I still know that if I can help to convert a few people here and there via social media that it is working, but I am trying to keep myself grounded in the fact that all of the other elements of online marketing, such as email, seo and ppc need to remain a key component of any companies’ marketing efforts.
    Thanks for the ‘reality check’ along with the encouragement!

    Eric Hoffman’s last blog post..The Vail Ski Lift Guy

  • http://ericinparkcity.wordpress.com/ Eric Hoffman

    I often catch myself thinking about how much our company could accomplish in the world of social media and then I pinch myself to wake up to what you’ve written – that only a fraction of our customers are in the social media space!
    I still know that if I can help to convert a few people here and there via social media that it is working, but I am trying to keep myself grounded in the fact that all of the other elements of online marketing, such as email, seo and ppc need to remain a key component of any companies’ marketing efforts.
    Thanks for the ‘reality check’ along with the encouragement!

    Eric Hoffman’s last blog post..The Vail Ski Lift Guy

  • http://ericinparkcity.wordpress.com/ Eric Hoffman

    I often catch myself thinking about how much our company could accomplish in the world of social media and then I pinch myself to wake up to what you’ve written – that only a fraction of our customers are in the social media space!
    I still know that if I can help to convert a few people here and there via social media that it is working, but I am trying to keep myself grounded in the fact that all of the other elements of online marketing, such as email, seo and ppc need to remain a key component of any companies’ marketing efforts.
    Thanks for the ‘reality check’ along with the encouragement!

    Eric Hoffman’s last blog post..The Vail Ski Lift Guy

  • http://ericinparkcity.wordpress.com Eric Hoffman

    I often catch myself thinking about how much our company could accomplish in the world of social media and then I pinch myself to wake up to what you’ve written – that only a fraction of our customers are in the social media space!
    I still know that if I can help to convert a few people here and there via social media that it is working, but I am trying to keep myself grounded in the fact that all of the other elements of online marketing, such as email, seo and ppc need to remain a key component of any companies’ marketing efforts.
    Thanks for the ‘reality check’ along with the encouragement!

    Eric Hoffman’s last blog post..The Vail Ski Lift Guy

  • http://www.dailyaxioms.com/ Tim Otis

    Hi Jason,
    I would also argue that the only social network platform that clearly has accepted marketing and advertisement is none other than Facebook. I had a discussion with the CEO of Involver.com the other day and he said “Twitter was never meant to be used as a marketing tool,” yet so many people are taking these devices and claiming them gems for word-of-mouth marketing.

    I think eventually brands are going to suffocate these spaces and people will start to lose interest, making their info and networks more private than ever before.

    Tim Otis’s last blog post..Baby Step with Bill Murray

  • http://www.dailyaxioms.com/ Tim Otis

    Hi Jason,
    I would also argue that the only social network platform that clearly has accepted marketing and advertisement is none other than Facebook. I had a discussion with the CEO of Involver.com the other day and he said “Twitter was never meant to be used as a marketing tool,” yet so many people are taking these devices and claiming them gems for word-of-mouth marketing.

    I think eventually brands are going to suffocate these spaces and people will start to lose interest, making their info and networks more private than ever before.

    Tim Otis’s last blog post..Baby Step with Bill Murray

  • http://www.dailyaxioms.com Tim Otis

    Hi Jason,
    I would also argue that the only social network platform that clearly has accepted marketing and advertisement is none other than Facebook. I had a discussion with the CEO of Involver.com the other day and he said “Twitter was never meant to be used as a marketing tool,” yet so many people are taking these devices and claiming them gems for word-of-mouth marketing.

    I think eventually brands are going to suffocate these spaces and people will start to lose interest, making their info and networks more private than ever before.

    Tim Otis’s last blog post..Baby Step with Bill Murray

  • http://amymengel.com/ amymengel

    A good post and excellent points in all the comments. I get frustrated when I see companies trying to jump on the social media bandwagon without first getting a handle on where their customers are and how they plan to use social media tools in conjunction with (and NOT in place of) their current marketing strategy.

    I agree with some of the key points made in the comments above – certain social platforms will quickly become abandoned if marketers take them over and begin using them to broadcast. That takes the social aspect right out of the equation, which is what drew people to those platforms in the first place.

    @amymengel
    [rq=61802,0,blog][/rq]Small businesses: It’s 2009! Get a Web site!

  • http://amymengel.com/ amymengel

    A good post and excellent points in all the comments. I get frustrated when I see companies trying to jump on the social media bandwagon without first getting a handle on where their customers are and how they plan to use social media tools in conjunction with (and NOT in place of) their current marketing strategy.

    I agree with some of the key points made in the comments above – certain social platforms will quickly become abandoned if marketers take them over and begin using them to broadcast. That takes the social aspect right out of the equation, which is what drew people to those platforms in the first place.

    @amymengel
    [rq=61802,0,blog][/rq]Small businesses: It’s 2009! Get a Web site!

  • http://amymengel.com amymengel

    A good post and excellent points in all the comments. I get frustrated when I see companies trying to jump on the social media bandwagon without first getting a handle on where their customers are and how they plan to use social media tools in conjunction with (and NOT in place of) their current marketing strategy.

    I agree with some of the key points made in the comments above – certain social platforms will quickly become abandoned if marketers take them over and begin using them to broadcast. That takes the social aspect right out of the equation, which is what drew people to those platforms in the first place.

    @amymengel
    [rq=61802,0,blog][/rq]Small businesses: It’s 2009! Get a Web site!

  • http://katandtonic.blogspot.com/ KatJaib

    Jay, I agree with the swooning. 3 months ago, all people talked about was The Importance of Social Media… like we were trying to spark a fire. Is it cool? Yes. Addictive? Absolutely. The Be-All of anyone’s marketing plan? I hope not.

    You and amymengel are right. What most companies need to do is figure out how to make social media an *extension* of their marketing programs.. and develop a plan for how to play here that integrates with other efforts. What most are missing is that this is a realm where you need to have a brand personality. Likeability is key. Engaging vs. shouting. It takes time and effort. Or, as Tim Otis says, brands will clog up the space and turn everyone off completely.

  • http://katandtonic.blogspot.com/ KatJaib

    Jay, I agree with the swooning. 3 months ago, all people talked about was The Importance of Social Media… like we were trying to spark a fire. Is it cool? Yes. Addictive? Absolutely. The Be-All of anyone’s marketing plan? I hope not.

    You and amymengel are right. What most companies need to do is figure out how to make social media an *extension* of their marketing programs.. and develop a plan for how to play here that integrates with other efforts. What most are missing is that this is a realm where you need to have a brand personality. Likeability is key. Engaging vs. shouting. It takes time and effort. Or, as Tim Otis says, brands will clog up the space and turn everyone off completely.

  • http://katandtonic.blogspot.com/ KatJaib

    Jay, I agree with the swooning. 3 months ago, all people talked about was The Importance of Social Media… like we were trying to spark a fire. Is it cool? Yes. Addictive? Absolutely. The Be-All of anyone’s marketing plan? I hope not.

    You and amymengel are right. What most companies need to do is figure out how to make social media an *extension* of their marketing programs.. and develop a plan for how to play here that integrates with other efforts. What most are missing is that this is a realm where you need to have a brand personality. Likeability is key. Engaging vs. shouting. It takes time and effort. Or, as Tim Otis says, brands will clog up the space and turn everyone off completely.

  • http://katandtonic.blogspot.com/ KatJaib

    Jay, I agree with the swooning. 3 months ago, all people talked about was The Importance of Social Media… like we were trying to spark a fire. Is it cool? Yes. Addictive? Absolutely. The Be-All of anyone’s marketing plan? I hope not.

    You and amymengel are right. What most companies need to do is figure out how to make social media an *extension* of their marketing programs.. and develop a plan for how to play here that integrates with other efforts. What most are missing is that this is a realm where you need to have a brand personality. Likeability is key. Engaging vs. shouting. It takes time and effort. Or, as Tim Otis says, brands will clog up the space and turn everyone off completely.

  • http://www.igomogul.com/ iGoMogul

    Excellent post, Jay. Our company decided to take the plunge into social media even though we knew that the majority of our clients have yet to embrace it. I believe it has been beneficial, though, to get involved and to learn and interact so that we do not fall into the same traps that some other companies do; namely those that think they are “missing the boat” on social media and jump in headfirst without taking the time to understand it and how to make it work for them. It requires a different kind of approach than other marketing methods, and this is often forgotten in the rush to establish themselves online.

    Greg @ iGoMogul

  • http://www.igomogul.com/ iGoMogul

    Excellent post, Jay. Our company decided to take the plunge into social media even though we knew that the majority of our clients have yet to embrace it. I believe it has been beneficial, though, to get involved and to learn and interact so that we do not fall into the same traps that some other companies do; namely those that think they are “missing the boat” on social media and jump in headfirst without taking the time to understand it and how to make it work for them. It requires a different kind of approach than other marketing methods, and this is often forgotten in the rush to establish themselves online.

    Greg @ iGoMogul

  • http://www.igomogul.com/ iGoMogul

    Excellent post, Jay. Our company decided to take the plunge into social media even though we knew that the majority of our clients have yet to embrace it. I believe it has been beneficial, though, to get involved and to learn and interact so that we do not fall into the same traps that some other companies do; namely those that think they are “missing the boat” on social media and jump in headfirst without taking the time to understand it and how to make it work for them. It requires a different kind of approach than other marketing methods, and this is often forgotten in the rush to establish themselves online.

    Greg @ iGoMogul

  • http://www.igomogul.com iGoMogul

    Excellent post, Jay. Our company decided to take the plunge into social media even though we knew that the majority of our clients have yet to embrace it. I believe it has been beneficial, though, to get involved and to learn and interact so that we do not fall into the same traps that some other companies do; namely those that think they are “missing the boat” on social media and jump in headfirst without taking the time to understand it and how to make it work for them. It requires a different kind of approach than other marketing methods, and this is often forgotten in the rush to establish themselves online.

    Greg @ iGoMogul

  • http://www.terralever.com/ jeff baer

    It is sad when you see brands jump into SM with the sole purpose of selling their wares. Many have completely missed the social part of the equation. It is akin to someone coming to a cocktail party to sell vacuums. Walk up to a group of people talking, do not engage in conversation and simply start shouting “Vacuums For Sale”! Then move on to the next group and repeat. Completely ineffective, annoying, and likely to do irreparable harm.

    Further, many brands take zero time to even do the research to find the folks that are in their demographic and psychographic. Hopefully the tide is turning as companies become more SM savvy.

  • http://www.terralever.com jeff baer

    It is sad when you see brands jump into SM with the sole purpose of selling their wares. Many have completely missed the social part of the equation. It is akin to someone coming to a cocktail party to sell vacuums. Walk up to a group of people talking, do not engage in conversation and simply start shouting “Vacuums For Sale”! Then move on to the next group and repeat. Completely ineffective, annoying, and likely to do irreparable harm.

    Further, many brands take zero time to even do the research to find the folks that are in their demographic and psychographic. Hopefully the tide is turning as companies become more SM savvy.

  • http://twitter.com/patrickboegel Patrick

    Lets face it if we are communications folk, marketers or just enthusiasts of Social Networking platforms we have created the sea of swooning. A big problem really is that far too many entities, brands or companies have gone leaping wildly at Social Media as the answer to all their problems and budgets only to find themselves with a Twitter feed or Facebook fan page and a big sign that reads “Now What!”

    I’d argue if you are a small emerging business, whether product oriented or service oriented, you could succeed fairly well with just Social efforts at first. But to grow, you will absolutely need to expand your horizons.

    Jason you are absolutely right though, engaging in social media even in an integrated fashion is “exceptionally difficult to execute unless your brand is compelling in a way that most simply aren’t.”

    Has to come back to a coherent strategy, and that is unlikely to have been rooted in social media but certainly can be integrated into it in most cases, with real human time consuming effort.

  • http://twitter.com/patrickboegel Patrick

    Lets face it if we are communications folk, marketers or just enthusiasts of Social Networking platforms we have created the sea of swooning. A big problem really is that far too many entities, brands or companies have gone leaping wildly at Social Media as the answer to all their problems and budgets only to find themselves with a Twitter feed or Facebook fan page and a big sign that reads “Now What!”

    I’d argue if you are a small emerging business, whether product oriented or service oriented, you could succeed fairly well with just Social efforts at first. But to grow, you will absolutely need to expand your horizons.

    Jason you are absolutely right though, engaging in social media even in an integrated fashion is “exceptionally difficult to execute unless your brand is compelling in a way that most simply aren’t.”

    Has to come back to a coherent strategy, and that is unlikely to have been rooted in social media but certainly can be integrated into it in most cases, with real human time consuming effort.

  • http://twitter.com/patrickboegel Patrick

    Lets face it if we are communications folk, marketers or just enthusiasts of Social Networking platforms we have created the sea of swooning. A big problem really is that far too many entities, brands or companies have gone leaping wildly at Social Media as the answer to all their problems and budgets only to find themselves with a Twitter feed or Facebook fan page and a big sign that reads “Now What!”

    I’d argue if you are a small emerging business, whether product oriented or service oriented, you could succeed fairly well with just Social efforts at first. But to grow, you will absolutely need to expand your horizons.

    Jason you are absolutely right though, engaging in social media even in an integrated fashion is “exceptionally difficult to execute unless your brand is compelling in a way that most simply aren’t.”

    Has to come back to a coherent strategy, and that is unlikely to have been rooted in social media but certainly can be integrated into it in most cases, with real human time consuming effort.

  • http://gingersorvari.com/ Ginger

    Great post, thanks for sharing. I agree. in fact, I think companies need to look at themselves a bit to make sure they’re ready to engage in social media.

    Why? Because the social media space is a two-way street, not a traditional marketing vehicle. Traditional marketing lands your company’s message. Social media is a conversation.

    And, as in any conversation, companies need to be ready to engage. They’ll hear things they don’t want to hear, and they’ll need to respond. Authentically.

    The effectiveness of their social media will be dependent on how companies respond to the unexpected – how they keep the conversation going and how they engage with the community to create a better brand.

    Quite different than traditional marketing – and certainly not a replacement for it.

  • http://gingersorvari.com Ginger

    Great post, thanks for sharing. I agree. in fact, I think companies need to look at themselves a bit to make sure they’re ready to engage in social media.

    Why? Because the social media space is a two-way street, not a traditional marketing vehicle. Traditional marketing lands your company’s message. Social media is a conversation.

    And, as in any conversation, companies need to be ready to engage. They’ll hear things they don’t want to hear, and they’ll need to respond. Authentically.

    The effectiveness of their social media will be dependent on how companies respond to the unexpected – how they keep the conversation going and how they engage with the community to create a better brand.

    Quite different than traditional marketing – and certainly not a replacement for it.

  • http://twitter.com/beckland/status/2350906596 Jamie Beckland

    Spot on. Gotta have the strategy & social is just 1 piece. RT @tweetmeme Let’s Stop Swooning Over Social Media: http://bit.ly/h6y84

  • http://twitter.com/ehayen/status/2355961220 Elza Hayen

    RT @tweetmeme Let’s Stop Swooning Over Social Media | Integrated Marketing and Media | Social Media Consulting – Conv… http://bit.ly/h6y84

  • http://twitter.com/greenmom/status/2363392034 Sommer Poquette

    Enough swooning over social media http://bit.ly/1pacW

  • http://twitter.com/faseidl/status/ F. Andy Seidl

    Reading (and agreeing with) @jaybaer – http://bit.ly/bV5ab “If You Think You Can Use Social Media Only, You Can’t”

  • http://twitter.com/glasshalffullpr/status/2371946113 Jessica Griffin

    Let’s Stop Swooning over Social Media http://bit.ly/10pbgH (c/o @jaybaer)

  • http://edwardboches.com/ edward boches

    If you’re a marketer, you don’t start with social media, or with paid media, or with PR. You start with your customer or prospect. Who is she, how does she relate to the category, the brands in the category, media and technology? In the category in question, does she want to be entertained as a spectator, or does she want to participate as a content creator or critic? Socialize? Express an opinion, what? I can read a hundred blog posts a day and find an awful lot that simply want to talk about technology, or SEO, or social media, or Twitter. They’re all just tools to connect, engage, inspire, build and mobilize. But which one(s) you decide to employ have little to do with the medium itself, it (they) has to do with your audience. Start there. Always.
    [rq=84916,0,blog][/rq]10 steps to launching a new product using social media

  • http://edwardboches.com/ edward boches

    If you’re a marketer, you don’t start with social media, or with paid media, or with PR. You start with your customer or prospect. Who is she, how does she relate to the category, the brands in the category, media and technology? In the category in question, does she want to be entertained as a spectator, or does she want to participate as a content creator or critic? Socialize? Express an opinion, what? I can read a hundred blog posts a day and find an awful lot that simply want to talk about technology, or SEO, or social media, or Twitter. They’re all just tools to connect, engage, inspire, build and mobilize. But which one(s) you decide to employ have little to do with the medium itself, it (they) has to do with your audience. Start there. Always.
    [rq=84916,0,blog][/rq]10 steps to launching a new product using social media

  • http://edwardboches.com edward boches

    If you’re a marketer, you don’t start with social media, or with paid media, or with PR. You start with your customer or prospect. Who is she, how does she relate to the category, the brands in the category, media and technology? In the category in question, does she want to be entertained as a spectator, or does she want to participate as a content creator or critic? Socialize? Express an opinion, what? I can read a hundred blog posts a day and find an awful lot that simply want to talk about technology, or SEO, or social media, or Twitter. They’re all just tools to connect, engage, inspire, build and mobilize. But which one(s) you decide to employ have little to do with the medium itself, it (they) has to do with your audience. Start there. Always.
    [rq=84916,0,blog][/rq]10 steps to launching a new product using social media

  • http://edwardboches.com/ edward boches

    If you’re a marketer, you don’t start with social media, or with paid media, or with PR. You start with your customer or prospect. Who is she, how does she relate to the category, the brands in the category, media and technology? In the category in question, does she want to be entertained as a spectator, or does she want to participate as a content creator or critic? Socialize? Express an opinion, what? I can read a hundred blog posts a day and find an awful lot that simply want to talk about technology, or SEO, or social media, or Twitter. They’re all just tools to connect, engage, inspire, build and mobilize. But which one(s) you decide to employ have little to do with the medium itself, it (they) has to do with your audience. Start there. Always.
    [rq=84938,0,blog][/rq]10 steps to launching a new product using social media

  • http://edwardboches.com edward boches

    If you’re a marketer, you don’t start with social media, or with paid media, or with PR. You start with your customer or prospect. Who is she, how does she relate to the category, the brands in the category, media and technology? In the category in question, does she want to be entertained as a spectator, or does she want to participate as a content creator or critic? Socialize? Express an opinion, what? I can read a hundred blog posts a day and find an awful lot that simply want to talk about technology, or SEO, or social media, or Twitter. They’re all just tools to connect, engage, inspire, build and mobilize. But which one(s) you decide to employ have little to do with the medium itself, it (they) has to do with your audience. Start there. Always.
    [rq=84938,0,blog][/rq]10 steps to launching a new product using social media

  • http://twitter.com/sarreichle/status/2391804081 Sarah

    RT @tweetmeme Let’s Stop Swooning Over Social Media (via @jaybaer) http://bit.ly/h6y84

  • http://twitter.com/greyvisual/status/2448903213 Bill Grey

    SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF: Most people still don’t know what Twitter is or can do: http://bit.ly/1b3e15

  • http://www.Twitter.com/ArtseyC ArtseyC

    Despite what I may tweet, I agree with this, Jay.

    Jeff’s vacuum salesman analogy is funny in that sad-but-true way. And Ginger makes the point I tend to harp on: if you are doing business poorly (bad – or not good – customer service, bad product, etc.), you are not going to create advocates in social or any other media.

    First, be a company people want to engage with, be a part of, talk about; get your processes in order, get your people on the same page. Know what you’re looking to accomplish and how you plan to go about it. Treat your foray into social medias as important enough to put some time and effort into, and then work your plan.

    Companies that throw a few hours a week of their uninterested employees’ time, stacked on top of already packed schedules, with no guidance as to what they are attempting to accomplish will end up being the companies that say “We tried that and it didn’t work.” And we will shake our heads and sigh.

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.

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