I was about to post on this article, Five New Ways to Communicate in Social Media, from Gary Stein at Clickz. The ideas he suggests for marketers to interact on online social networks with the customers of their brands are indeed intriguing … actually, a bit scary.

But then I read this comment made by one of his readers, and I thought … this "JR" guy has nailed it!

"While I appreciate the value of social media, I think marketers must first assess what aspects of social media work for them and how their customers may react to advertising within it. When I personally use Facebook I don’t pay attention to ads or anything advertisers say. Facebook is my time to connect with friends and family, not necessarily ads. HOWEVER, as an event tool, Facebook is far and away one of the best. So, selling snow tires to me via Twitter probably won’t work (unless my post was "my tires are bald and I slid all over the place on my way to work"; however, telling me to "enjoy the cold" with a Tire Company sponsored event this weekend featuring expert snow drivers, just might get me there, and perhaps your new line of snow tires. I guess the gist of my rant… marketers must resist the COOL factor of Social Media and treat it like other channels. Asking questions like, Does this channel hit my audience? How do I best utilize this channel based on how it will be received by those who view it? AND, not to mention, How the heck will I manage all of this? (because it’s not something you can just "do in your free time"). Just my two cents on the subject."

Key line for me:

How do I best utilize this channel based on how it will be received by those who view it?

If you don’t have a pretty clear sense of how your prospect/donor might be using or relating to a given medium — what its purpose, appeal or utility is to them — maybe you shouldn’t be using it! What do you think?

Tom

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This article was posted in: Communications, Copywriting / creative, Nonprofit management, Online fundraising and marketing, Social media.
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