Social Marketing: the Network of Networking

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Preview of Social Marketing

As a progressive-thinking agency, we are doing our due diligence by thoroughly immersing ourselves in the burgeoning realm of “Social Marketing”. We have now built our own little network of networking on the web so we can intelligently assist our clients should they decide to take the plunge as well.

Our footprint is not as large as it could be, but we feel confident that we have established enough of a presence that we can judge the relevance of this new frontier. We have set up two blogs, the one you are currently reading is for promoting ourselves as well as a concept blog that we are testing as more of a social experiment if you will. In addition, we have set up camps on LinkedIn, Plaxo, FaceBook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr, Whrrl and soon, MySpace. We regularly Tweet and our blogs are just getting under way. We have had Plaxo and LinkedIn accounts for some time and see the value in these sites as a business network, but the vote is still out on some of the others.

Time and Manpower

The funny part is that this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the social universe. There are literally scores of other sites that we could establish bases on if we had just two more assets available to us: Time and Manpower. All of these new sibling sites need nourishment and someone has to feed them regularly. It’s not as if they are self-sufficient once you set up house. If that were the case we would adopt every networking site available in hopes of this creating greater visibility as a company to a far larger audience than what is available in our own backyard. But alas that is not the case.

From all of our research online, news articles, other blogs and books, the word is out that social marketing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We do believe that this does represent a very exciting new marketing realm, but we view it as just another avenue for marketing efforts and not as the ultimate solution. Marketing departments have their fingers in all forms of marketing these , online and off, in an attempt to capture their fare share of the market.

Consumption

The dirty little secret is that social marketing is one hungry child when it comes to consuming time. In order to keep all of your social outposts healthy and growing, someone has to constantly feed them with new content as well as continuing the process of growing your audience and reach. That is what is not clearly conveyed in most articles we’ve encountered. I am not saying that it’s allrouse to get others to join this bandwagon, but I am saying that clients need to clearly understand what they are undertaking before they are led down this path. As a partner to our clients, this is our duty.

I have a good friend that is the “Twitter Master“ of Tampa. He is a “ghost” writer for several of his clients and this is how he now butters his bread in a downturn economy. I consider him an evangelist for this new media and why shouldn’t he be, he’s making ends meet doing this and enjoying himself to boot. What’s not to love? However, as I watch his list of Tweets propagate like weeds in a garden, I can’t help but wonder how many hours he invests into this endeavor and how big are the returns?

He has the time and resources to make an impact and generate the kind of following needed to reach the point of critical mass where he will eventually win this numbers game, but what of others? Can they enlist an army of social marketers to proclaim the word and get a return that offsets the cost of feeding this new army? I think it’s still too early to know for sure, but what is certain is that this new road is paved, in concrete, and it isn’t going to go away.

Social Networking

So, for now, we will guide our clients through the jungle of social sites and help them to understand that there is no simple recipe for success when it comes to creating the perfect network for networking. Each client’s needs and solutions will be different and it requires a well thought out strategy to make it all work. There must be a marriage of traditional and new media mixed together properly to get the results a client desires.

Again, would like to get your input and to know if you feel this is nirvana or narcissism.

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