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September 24, 2009Social Media Strategy… knowing what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve said it before. I don’t have time to twitter. Twitter is, for me, a devalued communication mechanism — I find it too time-consuming to find the few pearls in amongst the slurry which, let’s face it, is plentiful. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Twitter is useful. Of course it is. It’s the number one way of attracting social media hits to a site, fast.

I like being twittered about. It brings hits to my site. But I don’t twitter about myself. Direct tweets, linking to your own material, are virtually worthless. They’re spam. They’re a flood. They’re a transparent attempt at generating traffic, without regard to the type of user you’re attracting, or the conversion rate you’ll get.

It’s great when people tweet about you, because that’s a personal recommendation. But I also trust a recommendation from a friend on the basis of a blog post, facebook message, SMS or word-of-mouth.

Social media is in danger of becoming just another buzzword. The new SEO. It’s too valuable a tool to let that happen.

It’s become a digital arms race — everybody’s looking for the nuclear social media technique. Twitter, while it has its uses, is more of a cluster bomb — indiscriminate, and used improperly, bloody annoying. Constant twittering will eventually become the social media equivalent of constantly resubmitting your site to Delicious, et al. Devalued to the point of worthlessness.

I read 30 blogs via RSS every day — from the BBC and Times feed to Guido and Perez Hilton, to pirate operations from the bedrooms of as-yet-undiscovered friends. Why? Because they keep me informed. They are my filter to the events of the day. I trust these thirty or so to tell me all I need to know. I turn to their Facebooks, their Livejournals and yes, even a select few twitters, to keep me in the loop. I’m selective, and I generally want a bit of explanation along with my link. Twitter just doesn’t provide enough information for me.

I’m an information hound.

Most people are content with a lot less. Most people are content with fast food, too — but you’ll never attract your best clients that way. I reckon quality content, with a bit (not too much) detail is the best way to increase serious traffic and boost conversion rates. So if Twitter is a Big Mac & Fries, the smorgasbord of social media I’d suggest is more like a palate-perfect plate of nouvelle cuisine.

The key for advertisers, and the companies they represent, is figuring out how to reach people.

A lot of other digital media is getting overlooked in the big rush to Twitter. Don’t forget that people spend three times as long on Facebook as they do on Google. And whether or not they’re reading blogs, someone is — that’s why big, “household name” blogs set the agenda for what everyone’s talking about, and that’s what influences people’s daily tweets.

In short, it’s important that your social media strategy
reaches everyone, either directly or indirectly.

The best way to do that is by influencing the wider discussion,
across all social media, with intelligent comment,
not just mindless links.

And it has to be simple.

Case in point:

I was frankly baffled by this newest offering from Pizza Express. To briefly explain, you have to install (yet another) app in Facebook, invite whoever you want, use the app to make a reservation at your chosen pizza express, and then you get lunch for a tenner. Oh yeah, and Facebook proudly tells the world you’ve installed the app and invited your mate out for a cheap lunch. Privacy concerns? Not half.

I had lunch last week. There was a Pizza Express and a Prezzo on the same street. If I’d planned in advance, and used a system that’s a lot more complex than a printed, money-off voucher, I could’ve got the Pizza Express deal. The Prezzo had a sign outside saying “Buy one get one free on all main courses”. I picked the Prezzo.

Social media only works when it takes the shortest path. When it simplifies. When it makes life easier.

That’s why this is a brilliant example of social media being used to good effect: you can now befriend a gorilla on Facebook for a dollar, a bit like sponsoring a pet. Only it’s simple, immediate, fun, doesn’t require an app, instantly tells your friends that you support wildlife conservation. It’s an instant hit.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 3:31 pm and is filed under Blog, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment

  1. […] about why I don’t twitter. Although I would like to go over some of the things I said in my previous post. I write reasonably lengthy blogposts because providing keyword-rich, detailed, informative posts […]

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