Not yours, of course; your competitors’. Their strategy sucks. You got yours right, because you followed the advice in this post. (Seriously, if you recognise yourself in this post, I wasn’t thinking of you directly … but you need to change anyway.)
First, you realised that
Marshall McLuhan got it wrong
(And we can do the Annie Hall jokes later.) The medium isn’t the message, it’s a message. By adopting new and social media as a message, all you’re saying is that you’re not totally stuck in the 80s. Which as a marketing message, doesn’t really impress. Getting a Facebook page and a Twitter account really isn’t the end of the matter; it’s barely the start.
I’ve seen this a lot from the guys who talk about Internet evangelism - which is just new media marketing, from a certain perspective. They focus so much on the transformational nature of the media that they fail to emphasise that you need to have a message suitable for the media.
Which is a shame, really, because if you understand the transformational nature of the media, then it should be obvious that
You cannot put old wine in new wineskins
In other words, you can’t just use new media to push marketing business as usual. Twitter, let’s say, is not just a way for you to churn out lots of very short adverts. Neither is it a particularly useful policy to persistently annoy all your Facebook “friends” by spamming them with suggestions to join your groups and pages.
That’s not taking the medium seriously - it’s using new media as old
media. New media are profoundly two-directional whereas old messaging is one-directional. They’re not compatible. It means a rethink of how you do your marketing, so that it turns into “talking with” rather than “talking at”.
Otherwise what you’re doing isn’t marketing, it’s spamming: what I mean is hit-and-run information dumps of press releases, whether they be disguised as blog posts, tweets or Facebook pages. Here’s what it comes down to:
Social media marketing is actually customer relations
Look at these guys. This is a big hardware chain in the US, and they’re using Twitter not just as a way to talk at their customers but also to listen to them, to interact with them, and provide a way to make themselves accountable and contactable. They’re engaging with others. The same goes for blog posts: Read the comments. Respond to the comments. Respond to your commenters’ blogs. Build the community. Heck, use your real name; there’s nothing less “new media” than hiding behind the corporate veil. You have an opportunity to build relationships with real people. It would be a big shame to throw that away in favour of trying to maintain a “professional” polished facade. Be real. And above all…
If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them.
That’s all. Have fun.