Social media has been a buzz word for sometime now and constantly the worldover marketers are trying to decipher better ways of leveraging this phenomenon. Some are measuring their success in social media via no of viewers while some others are applying no of clicks as the metric.
Over our 2 years in social media consulting we have discovered that few brands in India (the main market we cater to) have seen conversations as the metric for social media.
We believe that social media suffers from the legacy that Search engine marketing and other banner driven campaigns have created for the online medium. What brands have failed to comprehend that a conversation i.e. a outreach and reply to an outreached message might be far more powerful and impactful than a click to a website.
Social media also suffers from the marketers myopic vision sydrome that is to see the tool as a way to reach out and not as a tool to ‘hang out’ among people who matter. For example lets say you are at an exhibition with 100 prospective customers.. which approach would you think would work? An approach of shoving you business cards in their faces and moving on to the next person in order to reach out to maximum people or the approach of striking a conversation with one prospective customer – discussing business with him/her and making sure he is sold on your concept/product etc.
Well to each his own but we feel the later strategy works far better in the long run. It also tells your customers that you care to listen. This is because is conversation is always two way and not one way.
So in conclusion we would like to say that Social Media isn’t designed for marketing its designed for conversations.