I recently monitored Twitter to locate potential sales leads for a client who sells a weight loss product online. I initially searched for conversations including the key phrases “weight loss” and “lose weight.” Much to my surprise, I got search results that were blanketed with tweets with these key phrases and included links to these many company websites. Yes, Google does weight their search rankings now to include both Twitter and Facebook back links, so if a company is using these tweets for this purpose alone, then fine. Twitter users can easily discern the wheat from the chaff.
I found the honest tweeters with other approaches to the subject matter – a must for any marketing approach. When searching for “I hate my fat” and “sick of being fat” I found regular users who were simply sharing tweets with other users. What comments did they have? 50% of the first page of search results pointed to an extreme frustration with companies spamming Twitter for down and dirty promotion.
Comments showed up like:
“Just got spam telling me how to lose weight>:(No thanks I don’t want your help”
“I may be fat but I don’t want your advice”
“I have weightloss people/companies tweeting me now, telling me how to lose weight.”
“GOSH! I know I’m fat, u dont need to tell me!”
So my question is – what good is social media promotion without the right approach? Have many small companies marched into social media blindly, simply because they were told that’s the place to advertise? Are they simply leaving behind search engine marketing for this promised land where there are oodles of unaware targets for their primitive campaigns?
For whatever reason, companies need to research (or have someone else do it for them) exactly who lives and interacts on Twitter and Facebook?
- What’s their age range?
- Therefore what are their tendencies?
- How do they like to communicate?
- Do they respond well to advertising?
Unless your marketing department can answer these questions based on thorough research and trends, your company can be throwing a dart and hoping it will bring in more sales. Would your company also use direct mail? It’s about the same equivalent to spam social networks, interrupting ongoing friend sharing.
The Design Press approaches social networks for what they are, treat them with kid gloves, and approach leads by using social network engagement, rather than social network “billboarding.” Marketing pull strategies are great for small companies online, since they can eliminate middle man costs and make direct contact with potential customers. But thoughtful consideration has to be given to the right approach with these potential leads, because you’re on their turf and this is where they are just “people,” and need to be communicated to individually as people through engagement. Results show that social media users respond to discussion without “billboards,” links and hooks pointing to your site, but rather through an open dialogue person to person.