Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Social Marketing vs. Anti-Social Marketing

Everyone keeps talking about social media this and social media that.

That said, I’m still not sure what social media really is.

Which is why I’m wondering if it’s no so much social media that we should be talking about as it is social marketing.

After all, I think everyone can easily recognize social marketing versus anti-social marketing.

Anti-social marketing is marketing that doesn't take into account the intent of the user. In most cases, this means that it's marketing that intrudes on the user. Simply put, it's the broadcast model. The advertiser interrupts what the person is enjoying in an attempt to sell the product.

Ironically, this doesn’t make TV, the media itself, anti-social. It’s the way that the marketer chooses to present his/her marketing that’s anti-social.

To see what I mean, next time you’re at a party, walk up to a conversation and just butt right in, ignoring what the other people are talking about and start talking about what you think is so all important.

As you will quickly find out, intruding is considered anti-social.

The attitude of advertisers that practice anti-social marketing is that they’ll do what they want to with the media and, in turn, to you, the viewer.

Social marketing is the exact opposite. It's marketing that doesn’t intrude on the viewer. It’s the type of marketing that let’s the viewer come to it, rather than it to the viewer.

In turn, if the viewer enjoys the marketing effort, they are free to pass it on.

What this means is that social marketing is less about initial scale and more about incremental scale. After all, if you’re going to let people choose to watch your marketing effort, rather than forcing them to watch, you’re going to have fewer people actually interacting with your message.

That said, if your marketing efforts resonate with those that choose to watch, the incremental reach can be quite impressive indeed.

According to Visible Measures, the incremental reach for the top five social video campaigns last week was 3.2M, 2.3M, 1.2M, 800 thousand plus and 500 thousand plus.

For social marketing to work, the advertiser has to trust that the creative will resonate with the viewers in such a way that those who see it will want to share it with others.

That’s why social marketing is less about building reach and more about building relationships.

That’s why social marketing is less about media and more about creative.

In fact, the media itself really has little to do with whether marketing is social or not.

It’s the intent of the advertiser that makes marketing social or not social.

And as long as the advertiser's intent is reach, social marketing will never work.

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