Off the Wagon. The Social Media Bandwagon, that is.

Today’s iMedia Connection featured a great contributed piece called “Six Stupid Marketing Mistakes.” The article made many interesting points, but there is one over arching theme that really applies to B2B marketers: Too often, companies try to jump on the bandwagon and execute marketing efforts without really thinking about if it’s the right thing to do. This is especially true in today’s “We’re (fill in the blank) 2.0! It’s gotta be interactive! Let’s start a social network! There is no such thing as oversharing!” world. But in reality, marketers need to know when to embrace a trend, and when to not get on the wagon at all.

The Facebooks and Twitters of the world weren’t started with us in mind, but they’ve quickly evolved to be a powerful marketing tool – for some. But just because these tools work for one brand, doesn’t mean they are appropriate for yours. And if you are going to use them, use them the way there were meant to be used!

For example, there are a lot of brands using Twitter as a communication vehicle (don’t believe me? Just check out this far from complete list!). This can be an effective tool, but when used the correctly. Some brands set up Twitter accounts months ago, and have not made a single update since. Or tweat about irrelevant subjects not related to their brand or their space. Or when they do, only broadcast one-way messages like “We just launched anew website.” Imagine the negative impact this might have on a brand’s reputation!

The bottom line is that many marketers treat social media as a short-term campaign, but it should be thought of as a long-term commitment and a business strategy. If you’re building your own network, it better be adding value and offer something that the big guys don’t. If you’re using Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or others as a marketing tool, make sure you’re using them for the right reason, in the right way and talking to the right audience.


2 Responses to “Off the Wagon. The Social Media Bandwagon, that is.”

  1. 1 Melissa Coyle November 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    As a good follow-up, check out eM+C’s series on social medial for B2B companies, and Forrester’s recent research:

  2. 2 Melissa Coyle January 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    As another good f/u, check out Mashable’s recent list of the top brands effectively using twitter..let me know what you think @MelissaBP

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