The social media consultant industry is spreading like rumors the day after a prom. Some of the consultancy is a little transparent. The key to all of this is not being afraid of your computer and remembering where your delete button is. I had a guy in my office last week who wanted to redo my employers Facebook page thanks to his thorough understanding of FBML, Facebook’s programming mojo which this guy thought he had the key.
The reason it is working and that companies have signed up for Facebook and Twitter amongst others is that it gives an organization a chance to have a conversation with potential customers, you can unmarket and just talk. A former boss of mine was bragging to a rep from one of the cable channels that “here in Buffalo, we were receiving a 20% return on our FSI in the Sunday paper (the inserts that fall out of the News Sunday edition). We weren’t but the rest of us at the table didn’t like the rep either so everybody stiffled any snickers. If you got more than 2% return, it was Merry Christmas, but those things screamed of deals or tried to anyway.
Where I like this stuff is it just lets you talk and because of the organic nature of a Facebook page or Twitter feed, it’s for a customer to ask something or unsolicitedly rave about something. There is a saying that kids love to learn, they just hate being taught. For the six of you reading this, this might not be anything new. Awhile back, my dad asked me to look at a piece he was working for a fundraising campaign because of my alleged experience here in the land of not-for-profit. I wasn’t feeling especially compelled to rip it up and put me all over it for a couple of reasons. One, for an engineer, the old man writes well and two, it is actually okay to sound like it wasn’t a prefabricated piece of marketing hokum.
I think that is at the heart of all of this. People just want to be heard. How many times have you called your bank and the voice on the other end says in a thick Indian accent, “Hello, My Name is Chuck.” Um, no it isn’t. I’m thinking of trademarking the phrase “Unmarketing,” but that has probably already taken place.
I don’t subscribe to a whole lot of theory when it comes to this stuff as it is easy to overthink things, especially when your firm survives hand to mouth on the best of days, just there are some additional ways to get the word out, which will hopefully inspired the old ones.