which social media tribe do you belong to?

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I do enjoy the dust up of opinions caused by the discussion of Social Media and Social Networking and how to use it from a marketing perspective and from a user’s perspective.

There’s….

“The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread” Tribe

“The Social Media/Networking is a Total Time Suck” Tribe

“The Occasionally Dip My Toe in The Water” Tribe

…and the always popular

“Prove It To Me” Tribe

There is always a few with such strong opinions (usually negative) that I get a kick out of it. Make no mistake, I myself do not shy away from strong opinions while also knowing that when I issue absolutes, I risk a little egg on my face.

As usually, I’m always the odd man out as I belong to the…

“Social Media/Networking is a Part of My Overall Marketing Mix” Tribe

Ours is a small tribe made up of folks who actually write and live by a marketing plan that has objectives, goals, targeted audiences and measures against it.

Some in our tribe do not use Social Media at all…but they can still be in our Tribe and not the “Time Suck” tribe because they have reviewed – not unilaterally dismissed – Social Media tools and decided it doesn’t work for their marketing objectives.

Smart marketers, whatever their business, adapt and study a changing landscape. Today’s change includes understanding and usually adapting to having Social Media and Social Networking as a part of the marketing mix.

The Social Media marketing mix is like an old family recipe – you make up the ingredients and portions based on some basic assumptions. A cake will need things like flour, eggs, water etc., but you may decide to add a little bit more of this or that or bake for a shorter or longer time than is standard.

With Social Media and Social Networking – it’s like an internet cake. Basic ingredients include having a free account on the most popular Social Media outlets: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed. Again, it’s free – the worst that could happen is that you get some SEO love from your account if all you ever do is set up a basic informational profile.

Then, if you want to dig deeper, you can figure out how these services and others (like blogs, podcasts, video sharing) might or can benefit your marketing objectives. Because your time is valuable, part of how you assess the marketing value of these tools is to decide how much time you can and are willing to commit to their execution. Time is as much a marketing expense to a business as the actual layout of cash.

If the answer is yes – we/me should do this and I can do this – great, carry on. If the answer is no, it doesn’t fit with our objectives and budget (primarily time but also possibly money) – great, carry on. In both cases, you really studied what you need to know about the tools and compared them to your marketing objectives and made a smart business decision.

You were not simply dismissive!

It seems simple but that process is a fail for many small business people because their busy-ness (not their business) helps them to avoid learning new things and ultimately they seem resistant to change…they enjoy the comfort zone of the familiar.

To them I wish nothing but a comfortable and obviously unplanned snooze.

6 Responses to “which social media tribe do you belong to?”

  1. GREAT post Peter!

    I’m a member of “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread” Tribe.

    I don’t quite LIVE on these sites, but I’m on them quite often and have really harnessed their booking power (several gigs a week). Just Google my LAST name and I show up everywhere! Like Scott Fortney said in his Linked In post, there’s nothing like FREE SEO. Oh, and it’s FUN! It’s a win-win for me. I can understand why some people have given it up or just won’t try it in the first place, but I really enjoy them and do well through them. I’ve been way more successful at booking through these sites than auditioning for every $100 job that’s posted on the casting sites. I just choose to use my time differently, and have developed some nice rapport with clients as a result.

    I’ve learned a TON from others on these sites too. About business, marketing more efficiently, etc. When there’s something I need to do and I don’t know how, I ask Twitter. I get an answer much more quickly than having to do the research myself.

    So I guess i’m saying they’re really great tools if you know how to use them. I haven’t touched my Myspace account in quite some time but get at least one call a month from clients saying they found me there.

    I’ll come down from my soapbox now. 🙂

    Thanks again for the great post. I’m all fired up now! lol

    Happy Voicing,

    –Trish “The Dish” Basanyi

  2. Hi Trish:

    There are many reasons I think social media work better for some business owners than others. Certainly its a willingness to embrace change and to try to understand what all these new tools can mean for a small business.

    But the other intangible also is that some people’s personalities – their real life personalities – are more suited to Social Media. I’m sure some one can explain the psychology of it better than I but I just think some folks aren’t wired to adapt to new ideas like this. That’s not at all meant as a slam…indeed, if its how you’re wired…it just is what it is (they have other great qualities I’m sincerely sure).

    But you and I, Trish, enjoy such a new opportunity and everything that it entails.

    Please come back again!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  3. I hope your post is direct result of my LinkedIn group discussion whos’ time had come!! It’s amazing that there’s any pushback to the enormous advantages of social and business networking sites. Time management is a constant but branding, marketing et. al. are fluid and a integral part of the mix.

  4. Hi Greg:

    We’re probably more coincidental than anything but great minds think alike I guess.

    Whether technologically, religiously, or via any topic you like….we seem throughout our history to take two steps forward and one step back on any issue of change. Social media is like that too, I guess. To some it still has to prove it worth…and that good for all of us, I think. Complacency never seems like a good think to me.

    Thanks for visiting, come back soon.

    Best always,
    – Peter

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