How Social Should Social Media Be?

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The current craze in online marketing is social media. That’s social media marketing. But how “social” should it be?

Social media marketing really is a new concept. Without the Internet it never would have seen its existence come to fruition. It really got its start because some savvy Internet marketers were playing around on social media sites like MySpace and Facebook and discovered that they could use the sites for business purposes.

But the sites are really not designed for that purpose. They are social sites.

Traditionally, marketing has been a push concept. A company would develop a product then push it out to market. The strategy was to go out and find people who might want or need their product and target them as customers. But in many cases, no one knew they wanted or needed the product until they had been sold on it. The marketers pushed it on them.

Social media marketing isn’t anything like that. It’s a pull medium. Marketers who engage their audiences through social media do so as social personalities, not as hawkers of some product that no one knows they want until they see a demonstration. With pull marketing, the idea is to develop a relationship with your audience before you try to sell them something. If you do it right then the people you develop that relationship with will seek you out and ask you about your products and services. Why? Because you pulled them toward you with your personality or magnetism.

Social media marketing is really more about the social than about the marketing. And successful marketers are doing it that way.