Yes I’ll hold my hand up, I used to be a social media sceptic. I know I wasn’t the only one, as I attended networking events, exhibitions and conferences several years ago a lot of my contemporaries were asking about Facebook and Twitter and when was I going to get to grips with it, but along with a number of other people, I just wasn’t sure. I truly felt back then that LinkedIn, Plaxo and Zoom Info were the vehicles for business where as Facebook, Bebo, and Twitter were the domain (excuse the pun) of social pastimes, so what changed my mind.
Well it struck me, or to be more precise it crept up on me and belted me over the head. Picture the scene; I’m sitting at home watching football (that’s soccer to readers from across the pond) on the telly when it gets to the commercial break, or halftime, as we like to call it. During this break in proceedings my wife and I chatted, and I glancing down at her magazine noticing an advert for a well known mobile phone whilst also being drawn to a particularly amusing commercial on the box for a famous alcoholic drinks brand that I’d just seen advertised on the boards around the football pitch. That’s when I saw it (the light that is), here we were enjoying social time together but at the same time being promoted to by various leading brands. Good grief you’re slow I hear you cry, and yes I guess this blog is a little like my version of 3 Hail Mary’s (well it would be if I was a Catholic) but to be fair I could have kept quiet and nobody would have been any the wiser. The point is, that we are bombarded with marketing material nearly every moment of the day, be it in our professional or social lives.
Another thing that helped me complete my own personal puzzle was when Zein Marketing was taking its first faltering steps out into the commercial world (yes that was several years ago) a number of the smaller organisations we worked with had themselves started up initially using their network of friends to promote their fledgling businesses so using social networks seemed a logical step to them.So am I now a convert, well yes (although not to Catholicism) but I do however have a concern. I noticed the other day in one of my LinkedIn groups a complaint about the number of promotional feeds that were starting to outnumber those of legitimate business threads. The danger as I see it is that Tweets etc. will start to be seen much as we view Junk mail in our inbox or mailers that drop through our letterbox, so a word of caution don’t become a nuisance, make your posts informative, interesting, even amusing and don’t post one every 30 seconds!!! It’s annoying!….keep in mind your target audience has the ultimate weapon ……..the UNFOLLOW button!