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Social Marketing – A “means”, not an “end”

Social marketing, blah, blah, blah. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, connecting, friends, fans, postings, tweets, etc., etc., etc. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

A client of ours recently asked us about a new seminar in our area. It was patterned, almost identically, after one we had (painstakingly) developed last year. They were charging less than half of my firm does. They also opened it up to the public, rented a hotel ballroom, and shortened the length. (Ours was a half-day, theirs was just a couple of hours, and we limited the workshop to 10 people, for personalized attention.)

My client wanted to know the difference. Well, all the differences I just mentioned are certainly important differences. But one of the things I’ve learned is that when people “don’t know what they don’t know”, it’s easy for them to fall prey to snake oil salesmen.

What I told my client the most important difference was that we treat social networking as a process. It’s a means to an end. Most social networking experts I come across see it as an end. Doing it is the important part to them.

As a marketing and brand consultant, we’re more concerned with creating relationships, building brands, and generating profitable business. Stephen Covey said it best, “Begin with the end in mind.” What’s the end? It’s certainly not spending endless hours inputting what I’ve been up to on my Facebook, Twitter, et al. It’s business development!

A managing partner client of ine engaged my firm for some marketing, brand consulting, and yes, some social networking. Here’s what he said. “I’d like you to help teach us old guys what all this social networking is about. I’d like you to help teach our younger associates some real networking skills. They’ll think I’m cool by bringing you in, even if I don’t understand a thing about social networking. But most importantly, can you teach our staff not to waste endless hours goofing around with this stuff?”

Social network marketing is a means, not an end.

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  1. tshirtfrank
    July 29, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the insight. Your post is all to true. I feel that social marketing, although it has its place, is supplemental at best and a trend. I use social media marketing in a home business capacity but it is not something that one cannot be solely dependent on. The tried and true methods still are cornerstones and work.
    Thanks again for the great information!

    Frank

  2. tshirtfrank
    July 29, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the insight. Your post is all to true. I feel that social marketing, although it has its place, is supplemental at best and a trend. I use social media marketing in a home business capacity but it is not something that one can be solely dependent on. The tried and true methods still are cornerstones and work.
    Thanks again for the great information!

    Frank

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