Dave Fleet hits on the key difference between a PR-centric social media strategy and an advert-centric approach, and I think he’s on to something.
Just last night, watching T.V. it struck me how many television ads were using their Facebook url as the primary, and in a few instances the only, web address. I think I even muttered something about how annoying it is to see Facebook become a crock pot of competing advertisers and sales campaigns.
After all, as we’ve all noted before – nobody joins Facebook for the ads. The power of Facebook – and of social engagement in general – is found in the relationship opportunities it affords.
This issue of social relationship building vs. social advertising impacts organizations of all sizes, even those not spending bucks on a full tilt Facebook ad campaign. It is an issue that impacts how your organization thinks about and uses the platform.
Recently, I shared a link on my small firm’s Facebook page about the reality that while very few CEOs are active in social media, those who are tend to trend from the higher performing companies. Following that post, I had the opportunity to visit with several friends who lead organizations who said that post made them want to increase their social media activity, posts, and such. But what most of them DIDN’T say was that the article made them want to increase their social engagement! And THAT’S the real key.
Advertising is push. Social is dialogue. You can’t expect social to really work if you make it a one-way street. (And allow me to suggest that just because a handful of people like something you push, or make a few comments it doesn’t mean you’ve actually sustained a relationship with that person) … Find out what your audience WANTS to talk about, and go there. Ask more questions, and build content that is expert and substantial to respond to those interests.
As Fleet says – push social advertising is actually a hybrid of the two approaches audiences trust least: advertising and company web sites. Make sure that your social interaction is truly driven by a healthy regard for the two-way street.
You’ll build more trust, retain your fans, and grow your brand – trust me.
Last week I wrote about the biggest challenge digital communicators face. However, it’s far from the only one; in fact it’s one of many. One of the big emerging challenges right now is that, after a few years of PR agencies leading the way, we’re seeing advertising agencies throw their hats into the ring for social media in a serious way.
Ad agencies, to generalize, often come up with big ideas but they’re often based around one-way “push” messages, rather than dialogue (in fitting with the short-term quarterly campaign-based model of thinking that I’ve discussed recently). The campaigns that do solicit feedback rather than action, do so in a superficial way (contests, for example), rather than in a way that reflects genuine engagement and relationship-building (Dell IdeaStorm, MyStarbucksIdea, for example (Starbucks is an Edelman client).
hile trust in digital commun
While trust in digital communications is now up to the point of other media
a one-way approach is perhaps the least suited to building trust with companies’ stakeholders. The results show that one-way uses of social media actually marry two of the least-trusted sources of information – advertising and company sites
- For social sites to be trust-worthy, we need to move beyond just creating a presence on the sites and to focus on providing useful content from credible sources and building relationships over the longer term.