This is an unplanned and off the cuff series I am doing regarding Social Media and its definition, which is still in a state of flux. Part 1 and 2
It’s all about the conversation.
Not the product, not the service, and certainly not how wonderful you are.
What do you think a good conversation is? One person talking all about themselves, or trying to sell you something or being obnoxious and wafting offensive odours at you?
Good conversation flows, it’s owned by the two or more parties involved in it.
It is not where you announce something. That is not what a conversation is and that is why a lot of PR professionals have difficulty in making it work for them.
What I have learned over the years is that to be a successful social media marketing practitioner, you have go visit the tribe, sit down with them, talk their language, follow their customs and after a period of time become one of them. Then you can tell them about the cave over the next hill which is selling all kinds of goodies.
Empathy, understanding, experience, knowledge, all prerequisites if you are to converse with the tribe. And let me tell you, conversing is not a right, it is an honour. Bestowed upon you after dues have been paid.
Sitting down and breaking bread with a Chili Dorito munching, coke guzzling, Warcraft playing, Linux using inhabitant of certain social bookmarking sites is really beyond the reach of the expensively manicured fingers of the PR hustler, and that’s just the men.
Unless they become one of the them, at least for a short period.
Of course the interesting thing is the real players in the social media marketing industry have come from the SEO world.
Who else is going to empathise with a 2 hour discussion of light sabre techniques.